In the Electric Mist (2009)

Genre(s): Mystery / Thriller
Image Entertainment || R - 102 minutes - $27.99 || March 3, 2009
Reviewer: Morgan Wilson || Posted On: 2009-03-11

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Writer(s): James Lee Burke (novel); Jerzy Kromolowski & Mary Olson-Kromolowski (screenplay)
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard, Kelly MacDonald, Mary Steenburgen

Supplemental Material:
  • Theatrical Trailer

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

SUMMARY: While investigating a series of grisly murders, veteran detective Dave Robicheaux (Tommy Lee Jones) navigates his way through the Louisiana bayou and the dark, sultry world of New Orleans mobster Julius “Baby Feet” Balboni (John Goodman).

The story isn't quite as simple as the summary. You've got a whole supernatural theme going on that makes absolutely no sense. Even the ending has a supernatural twist but if they had just left off the few seconds I'm talking about the ending would have made sense. Not to mention they should have excised all of the scenes involving ghosts, which would have made the runtime about 85 minutes. I'd take an 85 minute rock-solid action flick over a 100 minute running-on-empty drama.

Taking that into consideration, “In The Electric Mist” still has a great down-home feel to it. I'd even go so far as to say that it's re-watchable; it's just not that great of a film. Sure, it's got entertainment value. This isn't “Epic Movie” I'm talking about, but it still has way too many problems to be considered anyone's favorite, even of the few months we've had this year.

The level of performance believability varied vastly. Tommy Lee Jones under acts, John Goodman overacts, and a good portion of the cast seemed like local replacements for actors they forgot they needed. The end result leaves a lot to be desired, making the film feel hokier than it should. It's not too bad, but it still reeks of laziness.

The scenes seem slapped together to try to make a movie out of too little material. I don't know what to blame on this - clunky editing or a poor script, both of which seem to be represented in the film. All of this just adds to the confusion, and makes a good portion of the movie make very little sense (much like the supernatural aspects). The director, Bertrand Tavernier, does a great job making the film look better than most straight-to-video/independent action films. But, he ultimately fails at getting good performances from his actors.

The score is comprised of mostly Cajun music, with the occasional orchestra piece thrown in. There was one scene in particular that I found to be very well done; it's a chase near the end of the flick. What I liked about it so much was the lack of score. I think it works better with very little to no music than it would have had they used a dramatic orchestration that always seems to give away what's going to happen.


The only special feature on the disc is the Theatrical Trailer.


Though the film has a consistently murky look, there are no faults in the transfer. Everything seemed to be an artistic choice, and it actually helps the film. “In The Electric Mist” is presented in anamorphic widescreen with an aspect ratio of 2:35.1.

We've got a good 5.1 surround track on the film. The rear surrounds and subwoofer are used to a large extent. I wouldn't call this reference material because not that much really happens in the flick, but it's still a well done track that adds to the look and feel of the film.


“In The Electric Mist” is ultimately disappointing, and the special features are nearly nonexistent. I'm going to recommend that you rent the film, because even with all of the problems it's got at least one thing going for it – entertainment value.