How to Blow Up a Pipeline Review- A Heavy-Handed Story but It’s Still Worth Watching

Every once in a while you see a movie you didn’t expect that has a message that resonates with you as a film viewer. More often than not it’s about something that matters to your family. That’s the case with How to Blow Up A Pipeline. I am a big proponent of fighting for the environment. Global warming due to various things is a danger to our planet. Another danger to our planet whether we want to believe it or not is the use of fossil fuels. That’s what this film is mainly about activists who oppose an oil pipeline that causes a myriad of problems. 

A group of twenty somethings that have various issues get together to sabotage a pipeline in Texas. This list of young actors is pretty impressive. These actors Xochitl (Ariela Barer) Shawn (Marcus Scribner) Theo (Sacha Lane) Alisha (Jayme Lawson) Michael (Forest Goodluck) Dwayne (Jake Weary) Rowan (Kristine Froseth) Logan Lucas Gage) all add an interesting element to this story. They all have the same goal but don’t necessarily all get along. They still know what must be done to accomplish their goal. And the cost it’ll take on their group.

How the filmmaker director Daniel Goldhaber creates a backstory for these characters is he uses flashbacks of why these people join together to give this destructive message to Texas and the rest of the oil industry. The backstories of these characters are all fueled with great motivation whether it be illness, personal issues or entirely for environmental reasons. They all have valid reasons for doing what they’re doing. Whether it be wrong or right they all feel very strongly about doing this deed.

This film is based on the book of the same name by Andreas Malm. So this story means a lot to hid and many others who are affected by this thing that gets a lot of people itch but hurts the environment more by using it for cars and other various types of vehicles like planes and boats. I think these types of messages and stories need to be told. With movies people see them and the more eyes that get put on this movie the better. It’s one of the most important films you’ll see all year.

Even though this is a serious movie with serious subject matter depicted in it it has a heist element that makes it a very dramatic suspenseful story. The last half hour or so was very action packed and nail biting to say the least. This part of the film kept me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t know if these young men and women were going to succeed or fail. Its that kind of movie. It premiered with mixed reviews at sundance and I understand why because of the political message within it but liked it just enough to recommend it.

How to Blow Up a Pipeline was just good enough in the combined parts of the whole. The acting was good, the message was a very important one and the suspenseful heist-like elements were very good. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen. Whether or not this mission was going to fail or succeed. Even though this was a bit heavy handed it was still worth my time watching it.

3 stars 

Dan Skip Allen

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