Those domestic violence issues are so poorly supported, and the relationships that survive them so sloppily drawn, that “Drop Back Ten” never has a chance at emotional impact. Cochran likes fuzzy protags a bit stumped by everyone around them — e.g., Diane Lane in “My New Gun,” Lukas Haas in “Boys.” But this time the human landscape is so cipher-like we can’t identify with Pete’s choices.
Still, watching LeGros muddle through is the best pic has to offer. Rather doughy-looking and boyish in an immature way, he lends his lines a one-beat-behind unpredictability that’s both earnest and droll. That’s fortunate , since hackneyed dialogue (“Don’t do this — please!”) abounds. Model-turned-actress Valletta is a weak foil; her Uma Thurman-esque looks don’t salvage a petulant, flat interp. Fellow newcomer Harrington (“The Messenger”) has understandable trouble connecting the dots in Spanks’ character, despite some bright moments. Other perfs are often wry, but at the mercy of sketchy scenario.
Mediocre lensing and Pat Irwin’s bland soft-rock score underline pic’s half-hearted air. Other tech contribs are adequate.