Blayne Weaver takes on all the main chores starring in, writing and directing this hardboiled boilerplate of a thriller. Taking the role of the eponymous main character (Max Chase), Weaver helms this feature full steam into the tried and true tropes of fast-paced mystery yarns against the background of a criminal underworld. The protagonist starts off as a pennyante deadbeat small time crook who by chance becomes entangled in a web of some serious mafia-like happenings.
Once the catalyst is lit, the fuse moves fast as event after event causes a chain reaction of plot twists; gambling debts, parole officers, big-time DA cases and it just goes from there. The movie keeps apace with emblematic film noir motifs from smoky barrooms to doomed rides into the woods. The aesthetic recalls a spate of 80’s movies that came at audiences one after another (think Blood Simple, Die Hard and everything in between) but very much in its own way.
Cut to the Chase isn’t paced frenetically, nor does it seek to be as slick as some of those films. Rather, it pursues a grittier quality, laced with familiar markers from clichéd gumshoe lines to bumbling henchmen, drag-down fights and clever escapes. A key role by veteran actor Lance Henriksen as a formidable organized crime figure adds weight to the film’s urgency: he delivers as the heavy very effectively, anchoring again the best of that past decade’s sensibilities. It’s popcorn all the way, and fans of the genre won’t be disappointed.