I won't give away too much of the film, but Bad Blake is about as repulsive as a man can get when immersed deeply in addiction. Driving from one dirty bar to the next in his beat up Silverado, Bad is one sorry, downtrodden has-been. The first scene, Bad arrives at a small town bowling alley where he is to perform that night. As he gets out of the truck he pours urine out of a plastic milk jug right there in the parking lot, grumbles obscenities, and enters the bowling alley to meet with management, hoping to start a bar tab, which is immediately denied.
During the first half hour, Bad was so dirty I found myself wanting to take a shower. That's how believable Jeff Bridges' acting is; his filth palpably rubbed off on me. Is that a good thing? Not when there's vomit involved. :/
Bad Blake is difficult to watch as his deplorable state is quickly unveiled and the scope of his alcoholism revealed. If someone you know in real life has sunk to the depths of despair due to addiction, this film may be too uncomfortable to sit though. For myself, I've never personally witnessed this type of addiction, so watching it unfold onscreen provided a safe vantage point. I'm sure it was but a tiny glimpse into the world of alcoholism. It certainly opened my eyes, giving me compassion for those poor souls trapped in the evils of their weaknesses.
Bad's romance with Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is riddled with problems, yet the sweet, tender moments they share manage to push those glaring issues aside. In fact, somewhere along the way I forgot how dirty Bad made me feel and I found myself becoming somewhat attracted to him in a weird, "here, let me help drag you out of your alcoholic pit" kind of way. For a 60 year old man (57 in the film), Jeff Bridges can still rock the romantic lead. There's something about that rugged look that makes me swoon every time.
I am no fan of country music, but I was completely taken with the songs in this movie. I even purchased the theme song for my iPod, The Weary Kind by Ryan Bingham. Bingham is a newcomer with a whiskey-soaked voice that belies his young age of 28.
I'm afraid of giving any more away, so I'll end with the theme song. Now go see the movie!