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Red Right Hand Review: God, Family, Survival

Orlando Bloom talks to someone in a car through the window in the film Red Right Hand

Red Right Hand is an action-packed crime thriller with good character development, themes of religion and morality, and a strong performance by Orlando Bloom.

“God, Family, Survival.” That’s the mantra of Cash (Orlando Bloom), a man who made his way from a dark past into the light. Cash, his brother-in-law Finney (Scott Haze) and niece Savannah (Chapel Oaks) live in a small town working humbly on their family farm. When Cash learns that Finney owes a debt to his old accomplice, Big Cat (Andie MacDowell), he agrees to do three more “jobs” for her to settle the debt. Red Right Hand is an action thriller with plenty of fighting, anchored by a strong Orlando Bloom performance.

Red Right Hand opens to a serene and quaint country landscape and the cycling through everyday tasks of a farming family. It accurately portrays the life of rural Americans: they don’t have much, but don’t need much, and their lives revolve around the simple joys of going to the bar on Saturdays and to church on Sundays. The overall arc of the film is one of slow-rise action, and Cash’s dark past eventually converges with his honest present life. His goal throughout the film is the same: to protect the last family members he has from harm.

Thematically, Red Right Hand merges the tension of a violent action thriller with strong character development and deep questions about religion and morality. The film is truly all about God, Family, and Survival, and some key moments occur when Cash faces the morality of the violent path he chooses. Does protecting his family warrant an excuse for the people he killed? Could he ever step foot in a church after the small town knows what he does to settle his brother’s debts? Is revenge ever justified? Perhaps the most satisfying part of the film, ironically, isn’t that Cash finds all the answers to his moral dilemmas, but rather that he doesn’t. Red Right Hand presents complex characters amidst a frenzy of violence and gunfire, balancing moral and emotional elements with relentless action.

Andie MacDowell looks on the verge of tears in the 2024 film RED RIGHT HAND
Andie MacDowell in RED RIGHT HAND, a Magnolia Pictures release. © Red Right Hand Productions LLC, Steve Squall. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

The film is reminiscent of the TV series Yellowstone, evoking western styles to offer a rugged picture of crime rings in rural settings. As a whole, Red Right Hand can’t quite escape genre tropes, and struggles to break away from its crime and action thriller counterparts, but that does not invalidate it. Its strongest factor is Orlando Bloom, who portrays the out-of-retirement hitman well, nailing a country accent in every scene and delivering some heartfelt moments as well. The score and cinematography work well with the overall style the film is aiming for. For viewers seeking an invigorating film with poignant questions of morality from nearly every character involved, Red Right Hand is the perfect film to watch.

Red Right Hand’s climax is high-stakes and packs a dramatic punch, but ultimately its final scene is a slight setback. After a strong moment of tension, the film ends quite abruptly, bringing it to a close but not quite bringing closure. Nevertheless, Red Right Hand offers a satisfying story, strong character development, and centralizes three concepts most people will encounter at some point in their lives: God, Family, and Survival.

Get it on Apple TV

Red Right Hand will be released in US theaters and on VOD on February 23, 2024.

Red Right Hand: Trailer (Magnolia Pictures)
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