Movie review: “Prince Avalanche” is director’s return to form

By Columbus Alive
From the August 22, 2013 edition

You have to hand it to David Gordon Green. He can make watching paint dry interesting — or at least relatively so.

The director’s more poetic and patient style is on display in his new film, “Prince Avalanche,” so don’t expect the stoner hijinks of his more recent films (“The Pineapple Express,” “Your Highness”).

Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch) are two highway workers painting roads in rural Texas following a wildfire. Alvin is dating Lance’s sister back home, and Lance is dating whomever he can, noting “I get so horny out here in nature. Don’t you?”

The ups-and-downs of their offscreen love lives lead to an ebb and flow of a classic bromance.

Rudd and Hirsch get into the spirit of the film with solid performances that are alternately dry (in a good way) and over-the-top (when it’s called for). It’s essentially a two-man film, so a lot rests on their chemistry.

Gordon Green is content to lyrically linger on his rural setting, so those expecting a pulsating plot should probably skip “Avalanche.” It also is alternately poignant and silly-funny, so don’t expect a constant tone.

It’s not his finest work (I’m still a sucker for “All the Real Girls”), but it’s nice to see Gordon Green get back to his roots.