Promised Land

Rated 2.0

Just what the hell is this film trying to say? Matt Damon plays a corporate man who goes to a small farming town to buy up their land for natural gas mining. His corporation intends to use fracking, a drilling method that cracks stone far beneath the Earth’s surface and releases natural gas. It’s a method with some known environmental side effects, and I think this movie is preaching against it. Or is it? In the end, the film seems more concerned with salvaging the Damon character as virtuous rather than tackling the bigger questions it seems to be asking. John Krasinski, who co-wrote the screenplay with Damon, also plays a strange, strange character in the movie who serves to do nothing but puzzle the viewer. Damon was supposed to direct, but had to call upon friend Gus Van Sant to take over. The result is the second bad film in a row, after Restless, from Van Sant, normally a very reliable director.