Movie Review: Tread (2019)

Synopsis: In 2004, after years of disputes with the residents and government of a small Colorado town over a piece of property he had purchased, master welder Marvin Heemeyer goes on a destructive rampage in a bulldozer he had heavily fortified. This documentary tells his story from the perspective of those who were there.


Review: When I first came across this movie a couple weeks ago and read the description, I thought it was some B-rated action film from the 1980s and wasn't overly interested in it as a result. However, when I realized it was a documentary about a real-life event that happened not that long ago, I was intrigued enough to add it to my library. I finally had a chance to watch it this morning and I have to admit it was pretty darn interesting.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with documentaries. I like them for the most part but do get frustrated when they tend to be a bit one-sided. This particular one, however, managed to tell Marvin's story while not completely turning him into a martyr.

The thing I found most interesting about this documentary was the various interpretations of the events that led up to his rampage. I could understand Marvin's perspective and why he might feel as though the town was ganging up on him. However, at the same time, an outside observer could legitimately feel as though he was overreacting. I mean, requiring the property to have a sewer hookup didn't seem too unreasonable, even if he had to hook it up in a way he thought was too expensive.

The part about the other parties trying to bring an end to the feud was also interesting, especially when they offered everything from granting an easement for the sewer to purchasing his property for much more than he paid for it. While I took that part of the story with a grain of salt and considered the possibility of them lying about their offers, it did, once again, make it look like there was a lot more to this story that could be open to interpretation.

Marvin's version of the bulldozer story (told via a tape recording) was one of the most memorable things about this documentary, in my opinion. The way he basically said it was fate because the put the bulldozer and his property up for sale and nobody wanted them. That, along with his argument about the bulldozer happening to fit in the shed (also fate), did make me question his overall state of mind at that point while, at the same time, admiring his commitment to his plan.

Final Opinion: Again, the subject sounds like something out of a really bad action movie but this documentary about a real-life person and event ended up being an entertaining watch. I recommend seeing it if you get a chance.

My Grade: A

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