Spotlight On – Jeremy Renner Part 2 (S.W.A.T., A Little Trip To Heaven & 12 And Holding)

Spotlight On – Jeremy Renner

Part 2: S.W.A.T., A Little Trip To Heaven & 12 And Holding

Spotlight On Jeremy Renner continues, as I take a look at his supporting roles in three very different films.

S.W.A.T. is a film which I saw when it first came out in cinema’s and I didn’t watch it again until this year. At the time I saw the film I didn’t think much of it, and I barely remember Renner in it. I was shocked to find out after seeing The Hurt Locker that he actually played one of the bad guys, and then it all came back to me. Watching the film again, it is actually quite fun and I rather enjoyed it. Certainly Renner had a bit to do with that, he plays the character of Gamble quite well. He’s a bit of a loose cannon which is shown in the opening scene, where the S.W.A.T. team come in to defuse a hostage situation and he shoots a hostage (not killing her) in order to stop the gun man. He is rather convincing with his argument about why he did what he did, but the powers that be aren’t. So a fight ensues between himself and Jim played by Colin Farrell, friendship over. We don’t see him back for awhile, where he acts like a jerk in a bar. I loved this scene, as I thought it showed perfectly the state of mind Gamble was now in, six months after the incident. Clearly feeling betrayed by Jim, the punch to the picture of them both was priceless. I loved the back and forth between Farrell and Renner, I would love to see these two guys work together again. I remember upon accepting an award, Farrell mentioned when they filmed this, they some how ended up spooning, seriously, what I wouldn’t do to have seen that! As the film progresses with the main bad guy, Gamble comes back into the picture and he features a lot more through the third act. It is mostly action stuff, which is done pretty well, and he plays it cocky! I just loved that, everything he did was just so good, and there is a fairly satisfying final fight between Renner and Farrell. I can recommend this film for many reasons, it is quite fun and certainly worth a watch for Renner. You can check out my original review for the film HERE.

A Little Trip To Heaven is a film I only discovered because of Renner, and I am glad I did. This is a strange film, and a really great performance by Renner. He plays the villain of the story here, and a very complex character, which we see slowly unfold as the film goes on. The film starts off as we see Renner at the bar, he eyes off a man and then leaves. We see him syphoning petrol from a car, and then we see the man from the bar leave and his car breaks down. Renner picks him up, and then suddenly without any warning he crashes the car. Renner escapes with a few bruises, he puts the man in the driver’s seat and then he proceeds to use that petrol he collected and pour it over the car and set it on fire. At first I was unsure as to why he did this, but it didn’t take long, at least for me to understand why. The motivations become clear by the end, and his character turns out to be something truly frightening. After this we see his character again, married to Esold played by Julia Stiles, and we find out they suspect it was her brother who was killed, although they believe it is an accident. Nothing is what it seems, and as I said it all plays out as the film progresses. Renner can really play evil quite well, in this film he took on a few different forms, but all the way through you got the idea this guy has been ‘white trash’ his whole life. He managed to pull off the look really well, handle bar mustache and all. I think this is a film which shows his acting range, he does so much with the time he is given and he does it well. In an exerpt from my review of the film, I said this about his performance: “Jeremy Renner was something else, again he continues to just impress me to no end. His character is a cold person, and he really brought that across. He actually gave me the chills at times, certainly this was one character I would not want to come across.” This is a film I can easily recommend watching just for his performance, however it is a decent film and the rest of the cast are just as good.

12 And Holding is my favourite film out of these three, and my favourite performance out of the three as well. Again this is a film I tracked down because Renner was in it, but it also sounded really interesting and something I might enjoy. It turned out it was worth it, because over all 12 And Holding is a fantastic film and worth watching. Renner is featured in the scenes involving the 12 year old character of Malee (Zoe Weizenbaum), she sees his character Gus doing work and she basically gets a crush on him. She spies on him as he sees her mother for counselling, and she learns all sorts of very private things about him. We can see his character is going through a lot, and finding a friend like Malee seems to be something he needs. However he doesn’t realise that she has a crush on him and how far that has gotten with her spying on him and eventually breaking into his apartment. Gus is a very sad character, and this can easily be seen just by the emotion behind his eyes. Renner really delivers such a convincing performance of a man hurting and struggling to cope with his issues. This all boils down to a very emotional scene and one that isn’t easy to watch, as he comes home (not knowing Malee had broken in), undresses and takes a shower and then breaks down. This actually brought tears to my eyes, possibly one of the most intense scenes in the film (and there are a lot of them). Malee continues with her obsession as she in the end tries to offer herself to Gus, he of course turns her down, and I think this is where the realisation comes in that Malee more then anything is looking for a father figure not a boyfriend. 12 And Holding is not a happy film, it really shows what it is like to be 12 years old and dealing with all sorts of things going on. I said in my review of the film: The adults are all equally as good, the stand outs for me were Jeremy Renner as Gus and Marcia DeBonis as Leonard’s mother. The break down scene that Gus has is very moving and raw, both Renner and Weizenbaum are flawless in this scene.” 12 And Holding is a film I think should be seen, and not only for Renner but because of what it is about. I am glad to see Renner take on such difficult roles, this really shows what he is capable of and why he is becoming a favourite of mine.
Part 3 will be coming soon, which will cover some very different roles.
S.W.A.T. Trailer

A Little Trip To Heaven Trailer

12 And Holding Trailer

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