Between the strange performance art and the bar brawls and the paper bags worn to premieres, Shia LaBoeuf’s odd antics have made it easy to forget he’s actually a talented actor. Could Man Down be the movie that makes everyone remember?
Here’s the official synopsis:
‘When U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer (Shia LaBeouf) returns home from his tour in Afghanistan, he finds that the place he once called home is no better than the battlefields he fought on overseas. Accompanied by his best friend Devin Roberts (Jai Courtney), a hard-nosed marine whose natural instinct is to shoot first and ask questions later, he searches desperately for the whereabouts of his estranged son, Jonathan (Charlie Shotwell) and wife, Natalie (Kate Mara). In their search, the two intercept Charles (Clifton Collins) Jr, a man carrying vital information about the whereabouts of Gabriel’s family. As we revisit the past, we are guided in unraveling the puzzle of Gabriel’s experience and what will eventually lead us to finding his family.’
Variety gushed that “LaBeouf achieves that authentic, hurts-to-watch approach seldom seen since the days of Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift,” but lamented that director Dito Montiel’s “sappy, melodramatic style is a poor match for his star’s sobering performance.”
You can decide for yourself if this is the start of a Shia renaissance when Man Down hits cinemas in December. In the meantime, check out the first trailer above.