Carter & June

Every time I think about the title of Carter & June, I think of Johnny Cash.  Well, the film Carter & June has nothing to do with Johnny Cash. It’s a bank heist film starring well-meaning baddies wanting to be free of their nefarious obligation, once they finish that final job.

Carter (Michael Raymond-James) is a low-level con-man, who owes an ever-growing debt with the local strip-club owner, Spencer Rabbit (Timothy Omundson). Then there’s June (Samaire Armstrong), Carter’s on-again/off-again love interest. She too is adept at the con and needs the money from that final job to get her daughter back from foster care.

The word “complicated” is the running theme of this movie. If life were simple, we could get everything we want. But as good films prove, life is never simple. Carter just wants to be free of his debt to Spencer, but his money was taken by Detective Duke Johnson (James Moses Black). Spencer needs the money from Carter to pay off his brother, the city commissioner Reid (Paul Rae), who is extorting his brother’s strip club.

“…well-meaning baddies wanting to be free of their nefarious obligation, once they finish that final job.”

The heist proceeds but things get “complicated,” when God-fearing Officer Jason Twitty (James Landry Hébert), sneaks into the bank and takes out Carter’s crew. To complicate things though Twitty accidentally shoots a not-so-innocent bystander, who was boning one of the bank robbers in the safe.

Officer Twitty’s home life is complicated as his wife is having an affair with a whacked-out church leader, Reverend Jenks (Will Beinbrink). The Reverend could use a large sum of money to start a new mega-church. With pressure to get the money from everyone, Carter and June, who were previously disguised as bank patrons during the heist, convince Twitty to let them re-enter the safe to pick up the bag they left with all of Commissioner Rae’s illegal bearer bonds.

Carter & June is merely a series of bad things happening to mostly bad people. Arguably, the only good person in the entire film is Officer Twitty, who is an idiot. Both Carter and June are the film’s protagonist. While we should root for them, we lose the reason to by the end of the film.

“…the film’s nudity hits that definition of gratuitous…”

There is one standout performance. As Spencer Rabbit, Timothy Omundson is intriguing as the beleaguered bad guy. While he doesn’t have a heart of gold, Omundson creates a fully fleshed out quirky character. I should qualify Omundson’s performance with a warning about an early scene that will have any feminist turn away in disgust–#MeToo and #TooSoon.

This film has a lot of violence and nudity. The violence is pretty standard for this genre of film. After a while, the film’s nudity hits that definition of gratuitous. With very few exceptions, we see the breasts of about every woman in the film.

For those who are drawn to this kind of caper/heist genre, Carter & June might be worth checking out. For me, I’ll be cleansing my palette with Terminator 2.

Carter & June (2018). Directed by Nicholas Kalikow. Written by Nicholas Kalikow, Rob Warren Thomas, Matt Post. Starring Michael Raymond-James, Samaire Armstrong, and Timothy Omundson.

2 out of 5 Stars

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