A film about two mismatched men painting the long winding roads of a country highway, Prince Avalanche is a conscious effort for writer/director David Gordon Green to get back to his indie roots.
After varying success on his three studio movies, Green’s latest is a bit of a mixed bag too. Starring the ever-enjoyable Paul Rudd as stern, meditative Alvin, he brings his girlfriend’s dopey, layabout brother Lance (Emile Hirsch) on the road for the job, it’s fair to say the duo don’t always get along. Prince Avalanche would always live or die by the interaction between its leading pair, which is very hit and miss.
Bickering in a sometimes entertaining, sometimes tiresome kind of way, you’re left needing a second dimension to the film, and not paying enough attention to the mysterious characters Alvin and Lance bump into along the way, it feels a little stunted. On their own the duo are interesting enough but don’t get into the sort of hijinks you’d expect, and what the movie is crying out for.
Veering between snappy, witty dialogue and sequences of moany silence, Prince Avalanche is a remake of Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s 2011 Icelandic film Ether Way, but you feel like something was lost in translation. While it’s great to see Green getting back to his independent roots, this is an intriguing film but doesn’t do enough once you’ve been sucked it.
Prince Avalanche is a slow burn and it does grow on you over time, but despite the central pair sharing undoubted chemistry, the movie’s dialogue isn’t as riveting as it needed to be and it inevitably feels a little flat.