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(Review originally written at 15 October 2006)

All the elements to makes this a great genre movie are present here, especially in its formulaic but yet promising story premise. Then where did it go wrong? By the characters and cast for starters.

The movie has an impressive cast and most do a more than fine job. It's ironic that however the actors I were most worried about (Usher Raymond, Ashton Kutcher) did a great job playing their roles and the actors I was most confident about (Dylan McDermott, Tom Skerritt, among others) were miscast in the movie. But disappointing or not, every character in the movie lacked some good development and background. The main character (played by James Van Der Beek) start off promising but as the movie progresses you more and more begin to wonder to yourself what makes the main character so special or even relevant for the story. Dylan McDermott is a good actor and he also for most part is good in his role but he just isn't convincing enough as an experienced tough dying gunslinger. It makes you wonder why Robert Patrick and McDermott didn't switched roles in this movie. It would had made the story at least a bit more believable. The main villain is being played by Alfred Molina. Perfect you would think. The character however seriously lacks some development and depth which makes him a pretty shallow and way too uninteresting main villain for the movie. And then there are the actors who are just simply underused in the movie, such as Tom Skerritt. I mean does he even have lines in this movie? Cause I really can't remember any. So poor casting and character treatment all around for this movie.

They tried very hard to make this movie a cool action movie, also with a bombastic action score from Trevor Rabin. But however the movie is lacking in way too many action sequences to make this a good genre movie. They also desperately tried to make the action moments cool, with quick shots and cuts, that however really don't add up to each other and instead make the movie an incoherent one when it comes down to its action. The movie as a whole has poor editing all around. It almost seems as if this movie wasn't even shot entirely and the movie was not put together until in the editing room, when it was too late to do some pick up shots.

Despite it's promising premise, nothing in the movie really works out the way it was supposed to. It really is too bad because in its core this movie really had potential. But perhaps they should had known better not to touch the Western genre, that has been pretty death by now for the few past decades. This movie now is nothing more than a still somewhat watchable movie for on a rainy afternoon, that perhaps should had gone straight-to-video immediately instead.

Perhaps best watchable for the die hard genre fans only, everyone else can better just skip this one.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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