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DVD Review


Promised Land

Glancing at the trailer – in which Matt Damon plays a fracking company rep who begins to fall in love with a town and forget why he came – you get a sense that it's modern-day Doc Hollywood.

If you're expecting a feel-good movie about a salesman turned by the good folk in a quaint town, you might well be disappointed.

Despite Damon's star status, and reunion with director Gus Van Sant, this tale of pros and cons of fracking (a timely subject for Irish audiences) just plods along.

Damon plays Steve Butler who, along with colleague Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand), goes around US farming communities to get them to sign over land rights for drilling for gas.

He's the consummate salesman – buying off politicians and community leaders – and the country is doomed for farmers who'd better sign up or lose their homesteads.


But along the way, his crusade begins to crumble – firstly, when he falls for local schoolteacher Alice (Rosemarie DeWitt) and secondly, when an environmentalist, Dustin Noble (John Krasinski) begins whipping up anti-fracking sentiment.

There's a nice twist towards the end, but the romance with Alice disappears for much of the movie, while the scenes with McDormand are dull and slowly paced.

The ending is standard feel-good stuff and Promised Land is decent but could have been a lot better.

DVD extras: The Blu-Ray has iTunes-compatible and UltraViolet digital copies. But there are only two extras – a making-of special and one extended scene.

> Mark Evans