Many a nostril flares in "The Mason Brothers," a talky, drawn-out crime thriller that's big on posturing but comes up empty in the delivery of convincing dramatic goods.
After their baby brother, Orion (Michael Whelan), is killed during a downtown L.A. heist, bank-robbing siblings Ren (the film's writer and director, Keith Sutliff) and hot-headed Jesse (Brandon Pearson), along with fellow accomplice Gage (Matthew Webb), have good reason to believe they were set up, eliciting the services of a bounty hunter (Tim Park) to track down the culprits.
Those in the market for a good-old-fashioned, adrenaline-soaked vengeance yarn will have to look elsewhere — in lieu of any actual action or, at the very least, a sense of mounting tension, the disgruntled Mason boys occupy most of the film's pointlessly prolonged sequences sitting around offering stiff readings of stiffer dialogue pertaining to plotting their next move.
By the time they get around to exacting some sort of retribution, the stagy execution of their preferred methods of torture will likely elicit more laughter than shivers.
In his first feature effort, Sutliff, who also takes a production design and shared casting credit, may have been aiming for classic Hollywood noir, but this lifeless serving of soggy pulp packs all the gritty authenticity of a gummy vitamin.
'The Mason Brothers'
Rating: R, for pervasive language and some violence
Running time: 1 hour, 54 minutes
Playing: Downtown Independent, Los Angeles