The Standoff at Sparrow Creek

After a mass shooting at a nearby police funeral, Gannon (James Badge Dale) finds himself sequestered with the local militia that he is a part of. Evidence indicates that one of his colleagues executed the massacre, and he is determined to discover their identity before the police arrive and wreak vengeance upon them all.

The Highs
Most of the cinematography is good. I really enjoyed the dark, gritty look for this film. It fit the subject matter well.

Most of the performances are good. James Badge Dale has some intense monologues, and Patrick Fischler portrayed the ultra-smart nerd very well.

Some worthwhile ideas are hinted at, and The Standoff at Sparrow Creek comes close to saying some important things, but…

The Lows
None of the important themes are focused on. Instead of a poignant message about the oppression of government upon the right of mankind to be free, we are instead treated to a lackluster tale of two brothers caught in a bad situation. Rather than a condemnation of random violence and a solution of mutual peace, The Standoff at Sparrow Creek makes it very evident that the world is comprised of two groups of people, and nothing can ever change.

My biggest issue with The Standoff at Sparrow Creek is that the film is simply not substantial. Some of the dialogue is compelling and, I’ll admit, the mystery is intriguing enough to warrant the short run-time – but it’s hollow. At the end of the film, the viewer is left feeling that the entire experience was meaningless.

The plot itself makes little sense, and the twist at the end feels extremely contrived. Why are the police going to exterminate this particular group of militia? Why would they think they’re responsible for the shooting? Why would the members of the militia believe that exposing the guilty party would save the rest? We are led to believe that this group of paranoid individuals wouldn’t think to check the television or radio for news, and instead rely on police scanners and CB radios for their information?

There are just too many holes, and not enough explanation. The twist at the end served only to prove that the film’s anti-police rhetoric is accurate, rather than provide a realistic reason why the viewer should subscribe to this belief.

Final Thoughts
The Standoff at Sparrow Creek is a dull, confusing film with an agenda that fails to say anything meaningful. The slow pace and overall average quality make it hard to recommend.

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