MPAA Rating: unrated
Runtime: 104 minutes
Directed by: Mark David
Cast: Erik Fellows, Daniela Bobadilla, Kam Dabrowski , John Savage
People who become involved with mob activities often discover it’s a bad decision. That’s what happens to Peter (Erik Fellows) with his awaking as an attorney who is saving mob members in the LA. Court Room. He realizes one small mistake, and it’s his own life in jeopardy.
Mrs. Smith (Lin Shaye), the head of this mob group just needs to snap a finger and her accomplices are right there to do her bad deeds. After a phone call from her warning Peter he’s a dead man, he jumps in his car and hits the road with no idea where he’s heading. When he needs gas he pulls off the highway in Juniper, Texas.
Questioned by the station owner he learns there is a house for rent. Peter takes a quick look around at the small humble town and decides, why not! Attractive, mysterious and easy going, Peter makes friends with some of the locals by posing as New York novelist Frank Stevens who needed a quiet place to work on a book.
One of the first people he befriends is Tiger (Cam Dabrowski), who is mentally challenged, and glued to his dog. Peter learns Tiger is the brother of Roy (Jared Abrahamson), whose girlfriend Alison (Daniela Bobadilla) is homecoming queen but also the girl Tiger loves and believes loves him.
When Peter is invited by some of the older men to go hunting with them he takes the offer as there is little do in this small town. The women make pies to share with neighbors, and the men hunt, go to the high school football games, and drink. It’s on the hunting trip Peter/ Frank meets Alison’s dad John Savage, and soon learns he’s an angry-with-life alcoholic who goes overboard in keeping Alison under his watch.
At one point Peter/Frank makes a mistake and answers his phone, and Lin thanks him for letting GPS show her exactly where he is. Again she threatens to kill him. He does get a new phone but for some reason (which might have been explained) he does not relocate again. It seems being in a small town and acquiring new friends – especially Tiger – he’s hoping Lin doesn’t send her assassins to Juniper.
After the high school homecoming Roy, also very drunk, comes on to Alison wanting sex. She manages to get away. The next day her very drunk dad notices Alison is missing. Days go by and Tiger is charged with her murder even though her body has not been found.
Seeing that there is nothing indicating Tiger is the killer, Peter/Frank surprises the town’s people when he admits he’s a lawyer and will be representing Tiger. But will he be able to save him, as well as himself when two of Lin’s assassins take their seats at the back of the court room?
Texas Heart is an intriguing film by Daniel Blake Smith and Nick Field, and directed by Mark David. As one subplot after another unfolds, they hold our attention, and waiting for the next transition. The cast is good in making their characters believable. I did, however, find Lin Shaye’s Mrs. Smith too overbearing, which for me always saw her as an actor trying hard but not how a mob boss would really act.
The summer blockbusters now gone and waiting for the potential Oscar films to arrive, few movies are worth seeing. I would certainly put Texas Heart on the list to see.