Life is a gamble and who else gambles with their life more than a rodeo cowboy? They’re riding a bull, a horse, lassoing wild boars, or getting touchy feely with the lady friends while politely always tipping their hats (and strippers, and waitresses, etc). When you gamble, you can both: go on a hot streak or you can crash and burn by throwing away everything – that’s the price of living on the wild side sometimes. What ‘prevents’ people from gambling too much are rules and regulations that make people go through major hula hoops full of fire and a tank of piranhas on the other end just to keep them in line. It’s to preserve order and maintain a consistent governing, but what we’ve all seen in the past and even our present, there’s no such thing as consistent governing (I mean, at least not in America, the land of the free). This movie shows the determination of one man who took a gamble with his life, but in turn, he decided to gamble and save a lot more along with his.
Ron Woodroof (played by Matthew McConaughey) is the Cowboy that I described in the first paragraph, and set in the 80s, in Dallas, Texas, the lifestyle of a Cowboy doesn’t get bigger and wilder than the State that houses the phrase “Everything’s Bigger in Texas.” HIV & AIDS were a new thing back in the 80s, and just as the epidemic was starting to spread, companies everywhere were trying to capitalize each and every way possible to ‘fight’ the virus. You ever notice that in prescription drug commercials, the list of side effects being read takes up 80% of the commercial space while random images of people doing regular things is supposed to make it better? That’s exactly what this movie was pretty much about. When there’s a flaw in the system, it takes an unlikely person to pull off an uncharacteristic act and team up with a very unlikely partner (that would be Rayon, played by Jared Leto) and create hope for those who have none. Matthew has been known for his humour over the stretch of his career, while he’s still had the knack for playing a good serious role here and there (The Lincoln Lawyer for example). He did a great job in playing a character that you could be against in the beginning, but as the story moves forward, you feel compassionate and you want the little guy to win against the big boys. Keep in mind that this guy has AIDS and was given 30 days to live. When you live beyond your expectance, it truly shows you the power of will and determination that a human being can possess.
Jared Leto’s performance was good, simply for the fact that if you can play a gay cross dresser (not named Tyler Perry), and also happen to be a drug addict, that takes some form of moxie to pull off, and he added a lighthearted humour with the odd coupling of Ron & Rayon. Jennifer Garner’s role didn’t feel very significant, although she did have her moments, but there wasn’t anything that I would take away from her performance to make it stand alone – it was pretty much an afterthought.
You can’t deny the strength of the human spirit. You can either accept fate quickly or you can prolong it. Based on a true story, this movie should teach people a few things: 1. Wear a condom 2. Get tested 3. Don’t always trust prescription drugs and 4. Enjoy your life regardless of whatever situation you’re in, because you’ll never know when that side swipe will hit you in the head and your life flips upside down. The reaction after the movie finished was full of applause and it was well deserved. Matthew put on a performance that was truly memorable and the character was truly inspiring. This is my opinion, this is my review, but for now
That’s My Word & It STiXX