...was a good movie.
I think it was a movie about violence. Violence, death, murder - it was so omnipresent in the movie, so placeless. I felt like the movie was intended to hit the viewer with the baseball-bat-of-violence, so to speak - as if it was meant to force acknowledgment of something so common, so brutally accepted that it goes unnoticed in normal context - how sad is the meaning behind those words, 'normal context.'
The killer used, as his 'weapon of identity,' the same tool used to slaughter cattle. How are cattle slaughtered? Led, one by one, completely unaware, into a place where a machine is placed against their head and a button pressed, causing a metal rod to explode into the brain and back out again. The first man the killer killed, aside from the hapless deputy who had to be killed for escape - this first man, however, he was killed randomly, senselessly, inevitably ..... the killer took the deputy's squad car and pulled a man over. He walked up with the oxygen taken and the cattle-killing machine attached to it (powered by the oxygen tank), told the man to get out of the car, the man, unknowingly, powerlessly, gets out, saying, 'What's all this about?', looking confused and unaware, even when the killer pressed the machine to his forehead - he kept right on standing there, 'What's all this about?'.....pop
The man was led to slaughter like a bovine - as was the audience! I personally find genius in this film. The audience itself! we knew something wasn't right, it was so obvious, but still we didn't know....it came as a surprise, the sudden, helpless brutality of it. I felt like the filmmakers led the audience to slaughter.
Two final and interesting points -
First, Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson. Total red herrings in this movie - esp. Woody. They didn't really do anything, not at all like the audience would expect upon recognizing them in the movie. Brilliant, strategic casting decision.
Second, the murders. I don't have time to analyze the thing to its fullest, but it seemed like the random, awful, reminder-of-your-helpless-mortality murders were the graphic ones. When main characters died, there was respect. The guy running with the money, he died but only a glimpse of his body was shown, after the fact. His wife, hunted down by the killer in a sort of ultimate, make-the-main-story-murder-penultimate (since the story mostly centered on the hunting and killing of the husband) way, was killed but all that was shown was the killer being in her bedroom when she returned from burying her mother, they talked, she refused to play his coin-flipping game, and then he is shown leaving the house, checking his boots for [blood].