Everyone has got actors and actresses they will watch in almost any movie they are in. I have several of them and one of them is Matt Damon. Looking at his career there were some movies that weren’t as good as others, but I do always enjoy his performances. Promised Land is a movie about fracking. If it wasn’t for the documentary GasLand, which I watched last year, I wouldn’t have an idea about what it was. It is a way to extract natural gas from the ground using a combination of chemicals. As that documentary showed, the effects of it can be devestating. It showed that people effected were able to put a flame next to their tapwater and it would catch fire. In Promised Land Matt Damon, together with Francis McDormand, play two gascompany representatives. Their job is to have people sell the rights to their land for a nice bag of money so gas can be extracted.
So instead of the hero, Matt Damon’s Steve Butler really is the bad guy. He’s a salesman of dreams, offering the farmers, who live in a small community and don’t make much money, to make a lot of money by signing a contract. Things seem to go fine until, during a townhall meeting, some people speak up against fracking and the risks. With no environmental groups involved, Damon’s and McDormand’s characters feel like they got everything under control, but not everything goes according to plan.
The movie itself is a well acted and structured one. Butler’s character does everything to make people like him and tries to win them over, knowing what the risks are. It’s exactly that fact which made me have a big issue with the last part of the movie. He knows what he is selling, he is supposed to have an answer to each and every concern people might have, just to make a “sale”. That is his job description and it is the reason why I was very disappointed by finding out where this story went. I was expecting it, but hoped the movie wouldn’t do it. It’s hard to describe without spoiling anything, but once you’ve seen it I assume you understand. Is it a movie worth watching? The subject matter is interesting, but you’ll probably learn more about the subject by watching GasLand. Not a movie I would advise you to immediately run out to the theater to see, but worth checking out once you are able to rent it.