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film review


Nobody plays a jerk like Canadian actor Stephen McHattie. The prolific Nova Scotia native has brought his particular brand of savage character-actor cruelty to hundreds of projects – 10 in the past 12 months alone (including a memorably wacky turn in Darren Aronofsky's Mother! and a not-so-memorable split-second appearance in last week's Death Wish).

In Juggernaut, writer-director Daniel DiMarco's feature debut, McHattie once again meets expectations as a real SOB – it's just a shame the movie isn't about him. Instead, the dark and gritty film focuses on Saxon (Jack Kesy), a black sheep who returns to his small town to uncover all manner of family secrets after his mother dies. There are some small-time twists in this small-time thriller and, naturally, McHattie does solid work as one of the more slippery characters Saxon encounters in his quest for justice, but DiMarco just can't sustain enough tension or drama to power the film through a plodding 105 minutes. Worse is the development, or severe underdevelopment, of a character played by Amanda Crew, the film's second-most recognizable face thanks to her work on HBO's Silicon Valley.

And if you really need some quality McHattie time, there are plenty of other options out there.

Juggernaut opens March 9 in Toronto and Kamloops, B.C.

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