Edgerton Brothers’ The Square Confuses Body-Pileups with Plot Twists


One of two fraternal collaborations to open this week (Peter and Benjamin Bratt’s La Mission is the other), The Square—indebted to The Postman Always Rings Twice—fails to raise (James M.) Cain. The feature-helming debut of stuntman Nash Edgerton, co-written by brother Joel (recently seen as Stanley Kowalski in BAM’s hot-ticket A Streetcar Named Desire), this Down Under noir confuses incoherent body pileups with “twists.” Cheating construction-site manager Ray (David Roberts) and beautician Carla (Claire van der Boom) want to ditch their Sydney spouses and start anew, with the help of a duffel bag full of cash stashed in the attic by Carla’s mulleted husband. An arson plot goes wrong, a halfwit is impaled, a baby is imperiled, a blackmailer is chained to a motel sink—all convoluted plot developments (with multiple holes and inconsistencies) that add zero suspense but increase your suspicion that the Edgerton boys simply thought more was better (as opposed to 2008’s excellent pared-down Postman rethink, Jerichow). Or maybe they were hoping to distract viewers from their film’s most lethal flaw: two adulterous leads as sexless as Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman in Australia.