The Walker (Schrader, 2007)

Frankly, Paul Schrader’s Washington D.C. drama about a high class male escort named Carter Page (Woody Harrelson) who gets embroiled in a murder investigation isn’t so much bad as it is tepid and inconsequential. Schrader doesn’t descend into his usual sexual explicitness or violence, instead choosing constant innuendo and toned down threats as a guide through the political power plays and manipulations of his characters. This approach continuously flounders, irking out dialogue as if coined by a reformed lobbyist looking to even the score. The corruption, disloyalty, and fluidity at the core of The Walker and it’s sleazy high class expose speak to a human conflict between honor and respect, something Schrader has addressed to much better effect elsewhere, namely in the struggles of the lower class in Blue Collar and Affliction. I’ve found Schrader doesn’t do well when addressing the trials and tribulations of the wealthy elite. For me, Schrader needs the grit and grime of working class anti-heroes to fully explore the harsh themes at the heart of much of his work, which in turn reveals the humanity within a director not especially known for such a trait. 

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