The best thing I can say about Out of the Furnace is Woody Harrelson who played notorious Harlan DeGroat, a drug addicted gangster who ruled in the Appellation Mountains and Christain Bale who played Russell Baze, a steel worker that’s down on his luck. Their performances were outstanding. Other than that, it was pretty much down hill. This movie was oh so slow — even the music seemed slow except at the end when Pearl Jam’s “Release” permeated the screen. There were no happy endings and no real message that I could determine. The story takes place in North Braddock, Pennsylvania’s steel mill country and in the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey. The plot is basically about Casey Affleck’s character, Rodney Baze (Russell’s brother) who goes missing after he agrees to take a dive in DeGroat’s bare knuckle fighting event to even a debt between Willem Defoe, who plays Bookie, John Petty, himself and DeGroat. Russell who lost his woman (Zoe Saldana) to Chief Wesley Barnes, played by Forest Whitaker, decided to go rogue while looking into Rodney’s disappearance. This movie presented many questions for which I didn’t get many answers. In fact, I had to read up on Out of the Furnace to find the truth. I recommend Out of the Furnace on DVD if you have some time to kill, it’s interesting at best!
THIS SECTION CONTAINS SPOILERS THAT PRETTY MUCH TELLS THE WHOLE MOVIE — IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW, STOP HERE — DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER!
Scene: One night, Russell slams into a car backing out of a concealed driveway. The camera zooms in on what appears to be the lower, lifeless half of a child’s body. We know Russell had at least one drink before starting his journey home.
Question: Why is Russell in Prison?
Answer: The child and the driver died in the car crash and Russell was arrested for a DWI.
Scene: The movie opens with Russell and Lena (Zoe Saldana) in a loving relationship, playfully laughing and tossing around in their bed.
Question: Why hasn’t Lena been to see Russell in prison considering how much she loved him?
Answer: She left him for Chief Wesley Barnes. One can only assume she thought this would be a more stable life — she also is pregnant by Barnes.
Scene: John Petty reiterates the deal between himself and DeGroat — (Rodney takes a dive which evens any debt between DeGroat and Petty). DeGroat reluctantly agrees.
Question: Why did DeGroat kill Petty and Rodney after the fight?
Answer: You have to guess at this one because it’s not clear — I think he may have felt threatened by Rodney’s fighting skills.
Scene: Russell larges two bullets in DeGroat. While limping away, Russell makes a final shot from about 60+ feet away from DeGroat. DeGroat falls. We see no movement. Chief Barnes is standing behind Russell shouting “don’t do it”, “put the gun down”, “let me make this right”.
Question: Is DeGroat dead?
Scene: The last scene shows Russell sitting in his dining room reflecting.
Question: Did the chief not arrest Russell for murder?
Answer: No he did not!
I was able to find out these answers via research, not the movie!