Originally Posted by pikesome
If the first half, 3/4s, hadn't been such a good thriller I could see it. The problem, IMHO, was it feels like two different movies cut together. One a taunt thriller and then a philosophical ending with an old sheriff. Either concept could/would have been a great movie but it's like a roller-coaster that turns into a carousel.
I think you need to revisit the voiceover at the beginning. Seems like the other bookend that ties it all together.
And really, though the scenes with the drug runners and Chigurh and the good ol' boy were tense and taut, Tommy Lee pretty much plods along through the film with the same demeanor. ie, the rest of the movie might have been a roller coaster, but the sheriff was taking it all in from the carousel the entire movie.
He's kind of Sam Eliot's Stranger from The Big Lebowski.
Also, you gotta tie together a few things. Earlier in the story, Bell remarked that Chigurh was seeming more and more like a ghost. Then Chigurh busts in on Stephen Root's office; 1) 'how did you get past reception, 2) the accountant 'are you gonna kill me now?' Chigurh 'that depends, do you see me?" This culminates in Bell going into the room where good ol' boy was killed, and Chigurh is IN THE ROOM and Bell doesn't sense him. It's then that Bell sits on the bed and give up. That's when he goes to see his uncle who tells him he 'can't stop whats coming, it ain't waitin' on you.'
This is all tied up with Bell dreaming that his dad [former sheriff] was preparing the way for him over a difficult passage, then he woke up. Basically while his dad had equipped him as best he could, the evil today couldn't be stopped and he's realized that and gave/woke up.