In Matt Damon's latest dramatic offering, he takes on the current topic of natural gas fracking and the social upheaval that comes along with this dirty business. Promised Land is a steady film that focuses on the people working in the industry, the small townsfolk, and the environmental effects which this form of mining can have on domestic farm lands. It's not heavy handed in its approach but offers a broad spectrum of opinions, facts and a message that is abundantly clear. By the end of this film, you will have an understanding about the inner workings of the fracking companies and the lengths they will go to while trying to line their pockets with rural blood money.
Damon is strong as ever with his performance in this film. He slips right in to the role playing a corporate loyalist with extreme ease. Frances McDormand stars as his partner in crime. Like most of her roles, McDormand has a grace about her that is endearing but harsh at times, always delivering every line with that simple yet emotional depth that has always been her strong suit. John Krasinski breaks away from his comedic roles, playing the environmental activist with a heart of gold. His performance in Promised Land is a solid step in the right direction. After this, I'm convinced he could very easily take on more dramatic characters.
Promised Land is not a stand out film. And it's not the best I've ever seen from any of these actors. As a whole, it's average at best. But, it's an educational film that revolves around the dangers of fracking, the careless companies that only care about money, and the people that are harmed by this practice. Overall, the film is light hearted (considering the topic) and captures some decent performances from its cast. Although I wish they had been a little more aggressive in attacking this trend, I think this is a good starting point for people that don't know the evils of the industry.