Predictable, unoriginal, grim – these are all adjectives that could be used to describe anyone’s idea of a thoroughly unenjoyable movie. Sadly, they can all be applied to Supremacy.
Based on the crimes of a death row inmate, who goes by the name of Garrett Tully for the purposes of this film, this is essentially about how, after 15 years in prison, Tully (Joe Anderson) and his accomplice Doreen (Dawn Olivieri) go on a mission for the criminal, neo-Nazi sect to which they belong, by taking a black family hostage and killing two black cops along the way. Tully’s savage racial prejudice and penchant for violence are forever boiling beneath the surface.
Because of this, and the fact that the film goes straight for the jugular in its graphic depiction, there is never an ounce of sympathy for the protagonist. Whilst the whole affair is undoubtedly hard-hitting, it completely fails to grip the viewer at any stage, making for a thoroughly miserable experience at times. Normally, you would find yourself rooting for the hostages in this kind of scenario, but how much longer you’ve got to sit through is all that’s on your mind. When Tully does open up to the patriarch of the family, Mr. Walker (Danny Glover), it is only a fleeting glimpse of humanity and we are soon plunged back into the depths of despair.
‘White trash’ is a term we’ve heard hundreds of times in the movies and Tully is a character who could most certainly be labelled as such. But it’s almost as if Supremacy arrived on the scene two decades or more too late. Not only is the hostage situation that is the crux of the story all too familiar, but so is the white, lower-class, Deep Southern male portrayed here. Obviously there’s still many an extremist kicking about below the Mason-Dixon line, but we got the point many moons ago.
At times you do find yourself wondering what the title really is referring to; whether or not there is some kind of subliminal message hidden away. However, because subtlety is not exactly the film’s strong point, it’s clear that ‘white supremacy’, or at least the attempt to impose it, is the overriding theme.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, however hard it tries. There are some credible acting performances here, pretty much across the board. Despite this, the cast cannot rescue what is a seen-it-all-before experience dragged down even further by a laboured, hackneyed script and frenzied, muddled direction. It’s a real shame because you feel that they had so much more to offer if only they had been given half the chance.
Without a name like Glover’s attached to it, it’s unlikely that many would let Supremacy run past the twenty-minute mark. This criticism might seem unfair in view of the parameters that fact-based storylines can bring, but in hindsight perhaps this is one tale that should have been left alone.