Live Or Die In La Honda, Thrilling Ride Into A Broken Mind
Live Or Die In La Honda Film Details
Director: Jeff Hammer
Writer: Jeff Hammer
Release date: March 2018
Release format: Digital platforms
MPAA Rating: Mature
Runtime: 80 mins
Blake Baker receives a call from a past lover asking him to help find her missing brother. Once he arrives in La Honda, he learns the task is more dangerous than she led him to believe. A modern-day film noir.
Related Article: Live and Die in La Honda First Impressions
Jeff Hammer’s Live Or Die In La Honda is my first experience in delving into the world of film noir! Now, this may come as a shock to some but in truth, the genre never really interested me until now. There is so much that needs to be said about this film and I fear that I won’t be able to get all my words down but I will try.
The film heavily focuses on raw, powerful emotion, desire, hurt and comfort and the yearning for acceptance. Ex-lovers Blake Baker an ex-marine who has fallen comfortably into his new life of civilization away from the roaring of gun fires and death screams one day gets a phone call from ex-lover and also ex-marine Vic a vindictive, manipulative woman who knows how to play the strings of Blake’s heart asking for his help.
Blake is swayed by the ever charming Vic to upheave his comfortable life in LA and return to La Honda in hopes to help Vic find her brothers murderer. The premise at first is pretty simple. A man loves a woman. The man hasn’t seen the woman in five years since they were at war together. The woman asks for his help and of course, the man comes running. This seemed typical at first and I thought I was going to be in for a sickly rid of overused love scenes but oh boy was I wrong!
In fact, it was completely the opposite. From start to finish the film was filled with thrilling sexual tension, powerful emotion and just bloody well good acting. Blake Shields who plays Blake Baker and Lili Bordan who plays Victoria ‘Vic’ Taylour emanated so much chemistry between them propelling me into the film with them! Watching the two of them was truly captivating and tragically poetic.
The cinematography was absolutely stunning in Live Or Die In La Honda, showcasing the life of small-town folks and representing the community at its finest. I found the film to have a real sweet Southern feel that I very much enjoyed, the soundtrack especially winning me over. It was relaxing and entertaining and it held the film together well.
Another aspect that was portrayed well in the film was the use of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) a mental disorder that often affects ex-fighters from wars after witnessing such horrific events. Blake and Vic both show signs of suffering from PTSD and the emotion that the two actors put forth into the struggles of their characters pasts was truly believable. I especially commend actress Lili Bordan for the scene where she was having flashback nightmares from her time in the war. It was a very intense scene. Very well executed.
So, what else can I say about Jeff Hammer’s Live Or Die In La Honda? It was a thrilling ride into the mind of the broken. It was heartfelt, heartbreaking and just beautifully told. For my first introduction into film noir, I can only hope that all films of this genre will be of this caliber.