Dig Review


PLOT: A homicidal couple holds a home salvager and his deaf teenage daughter hostage, forcing them to dig up something they buried beneath a patio.

REVIEW: Thomas Jane once played the Marvel Comics character The Punisher, but in the opening scenes of director K. Asher Levin’s thriller Dig his character Scott Brennan is more reminiscent of Thor, making a spectacle of himself by threatening people with a hammer. He first wields the hammer when he wades into a party to retrieve his teenage daughter Jane (played by Jane’s real-life daughter Harlow Jane, whose mother is Patricia Arquette). Then when he sees that someone who cut him off on the road is at the next pump over at a gas station, he grabs his hammer again. This is when Brennan learns the folly of bringing a hammer to a gunfight, as his tough guy act at the gas station results in his wife being shot dead and his daughter being deafened by the sound of the shot.

The story then moves ahead more than a year to find that Brennan and Jane are, understandably, having trouble getting along. She blames him for getting her mom killed and destroying her hearing, and he blames her for the situation in return. If she hadn’t gone to the party, they wouldn’t have been out that night. Now Levin and screenwriters Banipal Ablakhad and Benhur Ablakhad proceed to put Brennan and Jane through a harrowing ordeal that will make sure they’re able to reconnect as father and daughter… but it’s also something that they might not survive.

Dig Harlow Jane Thomas Jane K. Asher Levin

Brennan works in home remodeling and salvaging, and through his job he catches the attention of Victor (Emile Hirsch) and Lola (Liana Liberato), a pair of goofy, over-the-top redneck criminals. Victor and Lola have a stash house out in the desert, where something very important and very incriminating is buried under the patio. Now a housing development is going to be built where the stash house sits, there’s going to be a lot of construction and digging going on out there – so Victor and Lola need to get what’s under that patio and move it. And they need tools Brennan uses in his profession to do the digging.

Brennan thinks he’s doing just another job, so he takes Jane along with him. She can stay in their camper out back while he and his employee work inside the house. But then Victor and Lola show up with their guns… and for more than half of the movie, Brennan and Jane are in the clutches of these bloodthirsty knuckleheads, being forced to dig for them. And forced to witness them kill other people who are unlucky enough to cross paths with them.

Dig Emile Hirsch Liana Liberato Thomas Jane K. Asher Levin

Dig is an entertaining thriller with a strong emotional core, the drama between Brennan and his daughter. It’s also a rather silly and improbable one, where you have to let some logic slide and watch characters make ridiculous decisions. You also have to go along with the fact that Brennan and Jane have plot armor, because Victor and Lola are cold-blooded killers and have ample opportunity to murder their captives, but for some reason they don’t pull the triggers of their guns in those moments. They keep messing around long enough to let their captives get away from them. Multiple times. But despite the fact that any viewer is going to know that things wouldn’t really work out this way, the film still manages to be a good time. Even though Brennan never gets his hammer back out.

The worst part about watching Dig is the sound mix, as you might find yourself increasing the volume in order to hear what characters are saying, and then Levin attempts to blow out your eardrums, like what happened to Jane, with his odd musical choices. The music in this movie is much louder than the dialogue, which brings a level of irritation to the viewing experience.

You can always count on Thomas Jane to turn in a solid performance, and he does that once again with this movie. Hirsch and Liberato appear to have enjoyed chewing the scenery, which works for their characters. Harlow Jane is the most impressive of the bunch, as this is one of her first acting roles. This will probably be the introduction to her for a lot of viewers, and she makes a good first impression. Her performance is almost entirely silent, but she is able to get across all of the anger, fear, heartbreak, and desperation that Jane feels over the course of the film. It will be interesting to see where her career goes from here.

Saban Films is giving Dig a theatrical, digital, and VOD release on September 23rd.

Arrow in the Head reviews the K. Asher Levin thriller Dig, starring Thomas Jane, Harlow Jane, Emile Hirsch, and Liana Liberato




Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.