14-year-old Kris (Amber Havard) is restless. With her mother in jail, she and her sister are spending the summer with their aunt. To impress the local kids, she breaks into the house of neighbor Abe Turner (Rob Morgan), a rodeo clown away at work. Kris hosts a wild party leaving Abe’s home a total disaster. It’s obvious that Kris is going down the same path as her mom, one of crime and recklessness. A deal is made in which Kris will pay for her break-in by cleaning Abe’s house and doing chores for him. Kris is swept up in the world of the rodeo and develops an interest in bull riding. Abe, tortured by old injuries and a penchant for drink, sees his livelihood slipping away from him. Will Kris and Abe be able to help each other before their lives spiral out of control?
Directed and co-written by Annie Silverstein, Bull is a meandering drama that explores the pains of self-destruction. The film takes its time with its characters. There is no rush to get to any big event or final conclusion. This allows viewers to really settle into this world. The film’s major weakness is having a principal character, Kris, with no redeeming qualities. It’s clear that she’s following in her mother’s footsteps and is lacking the guidance to put her on the right path. But there is very little, if anything, to make us empathize with her plight. Abe is a more dynamic and complex character. By the end, the film left me frustrated and ready to move on.
Bull is available on VOD through Samuel Goldwyn Films. You can watch it on Amazon Prime, iTunes and other platforms.