Last month I dove into the depths of horror in honour of Halloween, and among the gems, I came across Crawl, which literally had me asking: has anything good ever happened in the crawlspace beneath a house? Aggressive alligators with a taste for human flesh had me thinking no, but in Dreamland, a teenage boy named Eugene finds just about the best thing ever: Margot Robbie. I would crawl over quite a few alligators for Margot Robbie. So, it seems, would Eugene.
Like all of the people in his small Texas town, Eugene’s (Finn Cole) family is struggling to get by at the unfortunate intersection where the Great Depression met the Dust Bowl. As luck would have it, Allison (Robbie) is a wanted criminal, a sexy bank robber with a bullet hole in her leg who needs to hide out and rest up for a few days. Can Eugene help? He can. But Allison’s got a ten thousand dollar bounty on her head, and that will go a long way to help his family survive the famine. But she is a very sexy bank robber and he is a very teenage boy. So he hides her in the barn.
For a gangster movie, Dreamland is extremely slow. Extremely. And if it wasn’t for Robbie’s performance, I would probably say don’t watch it because it’s a little boring. But that Margot Robbie, she’s something else. And she’s something besides sexy, too. She’s talented. She strings us along, weaving her tales to paint herself as the helpless victim, and Eugene as her potential saviour. Allison uses her powers of seduction to get what she wants. I dare you to take your eyes off her.
Director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte signals his unreliable character with a heavy filter on his flashbacks. I can’t can Robbie the unreliable narrator because the movie has one of those too, which is a few too many cooks in the kitchen, but just enough boobs in the shower, and you know what they say: boobs always win.