Even for a proud B movie, this is ridiculous: Gonzalo Lopéz-Gallego's The Hollow Point imagines a small town on the U.S.-Mexican border where the only Latino person is a cartel plant (John Leguizamo) sent to murder the white folks who sold the Mexicans bullets. The script, written by newcomer Nils Lyew, seems to be an amalgam of Breaking Bad and No Country for Old Men, with a cartoonish portrayal of border life gleaned from pop culture, not experience. Lopéz-Gallego, the Spanish director whose thrilling Open Grave wowed at Tribeca in 2014, ultimately forgets to focus on the humanity that might have enriched this needlessly twisty crime story.
Sheriff Wallace (Patrick Wilson) returns to his hometown of Los Reyes, Arizona after its own booze-swilling sheriff Leland (Ian McShane) has a deadly run-in with a lowlife ammunition runner trying to get to Mexico. Leland tells Wallace the men he's about to face are dangerous animals -- going by the book won't keep him alive. The story that follows isn't by the book, either. It's nonsense about the Mexicans wanting revenge (for exactly what I'm still not sure) and vowing to wreak havoc.
Lyew kills the story with implausible twists, but he does craft some effective, original set pieces. One moment has Wallace blowtorching a carburetor in a suspect's truck to look for evidence; the bullets hidden inside get heated to combustion and start shooting all over the place. But this director also needs a full story. And this ain't that -- the point of this film really is hollow.