‘Vengeance’ Looks Like a Movie About West Texas That Gets It
West Texas often gets a bum rap in movies made by people who are not from West Texas. Hokey accents and bizarre outfits make the people out here look like caricatures instead of characters. Sure, there are plenty of people in 10-gallon hats and western suits, but those aren't the norm and they certainly don't outnumber the rest of West Texans.
Every so often there comes a movie that encapsulates what it means to be West Texan. Think: The Searchers, No Country for Old Men, Hell or High Water and Friday Night Lights.
Those movies all pretty well nail West Texas.
Now, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself here, but there might be another movie coming that just feels right, even though it was filmed in Albuquerque. The Office alum B.J. Novak wrote and stars in Vengeance, a story about a New York radio host who comes to West Texas for the funeral of a past girlfriend and gets thrown knee-deep into Americana.
Novak is joined by Boyd Holbrook, Issa Rae, Ashton Kutcher and Dove Cameron in a movie that tackles conspiracy theories that might be more true than you think.
There are also some hard lessons in the trailer like cowboys boots aren't uncommon around here, people don't generally open up to outsiders and if you're at a rodeo in West Texas you don't stand up and cheer for the Texas Longhorns.
In the trailer, Novak is trying to engrain himself into the community and gets prompted by the rodeo announcer, who asks: "Who here likes the University of Texas?" Novak, unaware, stands up and cheers. Everyone stares at him like he killed a calf. Then the announcer booms in, "And who loves Texas Tech?" The West Texas crowd goes wild.
The details of a celebratory Whataburger dinner and the grandma listing all the guns you might need to tackle a problem both also feel on-brand for the region.
Who knows if the movie will be any good, but I'll definitely be taking it in once it premiers. You can watch the full trailer for Vengeance below.