- He will be shirtless (for at least 20 minutes of the total running time).
- He will use a syrupy southern drawl.
- His hair, while not exactly greasy, will at some point look like it’s about to drip fluids.
- His skin will have a light sheen.
Mud does nothing to prevent these stereotypes, even though the movie makes a point of emphasizing a lucky shirt … except when he takes it off, nothing bad happens, so how lucky can it be?
After you have those four elements, here’s the rest of the recipe for mud:
- Imagine that while the boys from Stand By Me were looking for that dead body in Oregon, two boys find a boat in a tree in the dark and twisted South as imagined by Flannery O’Connor.
- Transplant one (1) stranger with a dark past, a la Down in the Valley, but take away to psycho tendencies.
- Throw in one (1) father figure that’s straight out of Liam Neeson in Next of Kin and one (1) sniper who conveniently lives across the river.
- Throw in gallons of snake-infested muddy river water.
- Mix in an anti-Elle Woods.
- Take mixture and slow-bake in the hot, humid sun.
Let simmer for two hours, 11 minutes. It’ll seem longer, but trust me, that’s enough. It may taste a little tough, but I think that’s the point.
Or, I could be a little off-topic …