Lionsgate has released the first trailer for Clark Duke’s directorial debut Arkansas, in which he and Liam Hemsworth play a couple of low-level drug couriers who run afoul of their boss, played by Vince Vaughn.
Based on the novel by John Brandon, which Duke adapted with Andrew Boonkrong, the film examines how organized crime is awfully disorganized down South, where kingpin Frog (Vaughn) calls the shots. His subordinates, Kyle (Hemsworth) and Swin (Duke), pose as junior park rangers by day and run drugs at night under the watchful eye of Frog’s proxies, played by John Malkovich and Vivica A. Fox.
Kyle and Swin have been told to blend in, but Swin defies orders by falling for a local woman named Johnna (Eden Brolin), while Kyle gets caught up in trying to figure out who Frog really is. After one too many inept decisions, their world is upended when Frog mistakenly begins to see the trio as a threat to his empire, which puts them directly in his violent crosshairs.
Brolin is the daughter of Josh Brolin, and she’s joined by Duke’s own brother, Chandler Duke, as well as Michael Kenneth Williams, who seems like a natural fit for this gritty world. There’s no doubt that Duke has assembled an impressive cast here, but it will all come down to the script. Will Arkansas have something original to say about the “cycle of violence that turns young men into criminals, and old men into legends,” or will it be another Quentin Tarantino knock-off?
You’ll be able to decide for yourself when Arkansas hits select theaters and VOD — including on Apple and Amazon — on May 1. In the meantime, watch the trailer below to get a feel for this darkly comedic thriller.