Arkansas (2020) Movie Review

Director: Clark Duke

Writer: Andrew Boonkrong (Screenplay) John Brandon (Novel)

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Vince Vaughn, Clark Duke, John Malkovich, Michael Kenneth Williams, Vivica A Fox

Plot: Kyle and Swin live by the orders of an Arkansas-based drug kingpin named Frog, whom they’ve never met. But when a deal goes horribly wrong, the consequences are deadly.


Tagline – Kyle and Swin are working their way to the top…but the top has other plans.

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Smooth & Calm

Story: Arkansas starts when small town drug deal Kyle (Hemsworth) getting a promotion, which takes him to Arkansas to work for Frog (Vaughn) a man he has never met, with connection is Swin (Duke), putting him on the first transportation mission, where they learn who is going to be their handler, Bright (Malkovich).

When Kyle and Swin decide to try and move up the ranks, they find themselves being hunted down by Frog, needing to use their new desire to keep them on the right side of the ruthless drug lord.

Thoughts on Arkansas

Characters – Kyle is the small town drug dealer that has been waiting for his chance in the big time, which he gets, working with Swin, rising up the ranks, he will get the dirty work done, he is the smarter of the two, knowing how to cover up the tracks and not just run from the situation. Swin is the man that gives Kyle the ins and outs of the area, he does talk more, he makes more reckless decisions. Frog is the ruthless drug lord that nobody knows who he truly is, he is the man that both the men are working for, while he is waiting for his chance to get his own back on the people who stole from him. Bright is the ranger who is the connection between Frog and the guys, he lets the guys know he is in control, giving the threats if they ever try and cross the line.

PerformancesLiam Hemsworth does give one of his better performances here, he seems to have matured to new levels here. Vince Vaughn is always entertaining in the villainous role, he works very well through this film, with Clark Duke not only starring, but directing this film, stepping away from the comedy that has held him back before. John Malkovich gets to be over the top like only he could, being a joy to watch in this film.

StoryThe story here follows two young drug dealers that decide to try and make a move up the ladder against a man they don’t know, seeing how things don’t get as messed as they imagined it would, but needing to solve the problems produced. This does look at how the drug world operates in the country area in America, it doesn’t making it an all out drug war, it plays out more tactical in the approach to dealing with what is going on between the two sides. The story is also told in chapter form, which does give great time to let the characters develop through the film.

CrimeThe crime side of the film follows two men getting deeper into the drug world in the open country area, this isn’t gangsters, just men looking to make money and run a business for themselves.

SettingsThe film uses the country setting very well to show how relaxed the world is, it takes away the full blown guns out approach other drug lord movies include.


Scene of the Movie – The first meeting between the three.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain side stories don’t need to be here.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting new spin on the drug dealers and drug lords movies, everything is a lot calmer on the approach, which does show us just how the world would operate away from the big city.

Overall: Relaxed Drug Lord Film.

Lionsgate UK presents southern-fried crime thriller Arkansas on Digital Download 13 July & DVD 20 July

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