Matt Damon stars as Steve Butler, a salesman for natural gas drilling rights and fracking through shale in small, needy areas around the country, in “Promised Land.” Working for the Global Corporation (Went all out on that imaginative name!), Butler makes big promises, tells little and big lies, and eventually comes to his senses. The mundane, hokie, unsparkable plot does not offer much, except for the dependably good performance of Hal Holbrook as scientist/teacher Frank Yates and for the few lines of Lennon Wynn as a cute lemonade seller. Frances McDormand plays Butler’s more experienced coworker, Sue Thompson, while John Kransinski’s role as trouble-causing environmentalist Dustin Noble is pat-on-the-back worthy.
Those in the fracking industry may not appreciate this movie, but they should not worry too much. “Promised Land” is not going to fire up much interest in opposing the process. Then again, perhaps that was the intention.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.