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Can't believe some people actually genuinely enjoy this movie. It in my opinion is a very poor new age western, that's neither realistic or entertaining enough.

It just can't ever seem to make up its mind about what it's trying to be. Is it supposed to be a gritty, bleak, realistic western or is it simply trying to be an entertaining one, with lots of exaggerated moments and characters in it? The movie is a bit of both really but unfortunately it's a combination that doesn't work out that very well. It's hard to take this movie seriously because of its over-the-top characters and it's hard to take this movie as entertainment, due to its slow pace and way of storytelling.

Yes I know, westerns are supposed to be somewhat slower movies but this movie just never has a pleasant pace to it. It's really due to its weak writing and poor dialog as well. It never becomes a very interesting or very engaging movie to watch because of this. It also doesn't help that all of the characters are very cartoon-like, both in the way they behave and look like.

You perhaps won't even recognize Ed Harris at first. He sure loves doing westerns it seems and it's too bad for him he wasn't born 20 years earlier. That way he may have actually been able to star in some pretty decent old school westerns, for all of the new age westerns he has appeared in so far are pretty terrible. Not really his fault of course but most modern westerns just don't work out, due to the fact that they try to recreate a genre, with a very specific style, that just doesn't lend itself too well to the more modern day techniques and ways of film-making.

Even more over-the-top than Harris is Jason Isaacs, as the movie its main villain. It never really bothered me until now but this movie had me thinking; religious nuts as crazy evil villains are really becoming one of the oldest and cheapest clich├ęs in the book, in my opinion. He's over-the-top evil, which may work within a Harry Potter movie so to speak but it doesn't really suit the western genre. It's too much and unfortunately not in a very entertaining or enjoyable way either even though Isaacs normally is always great and enjoyable, as any type of villain.

But the worst character without a doubt is still the January Jones one. And yes, this is really mostly due to January Jones herself it seems. She just isn't convincing at all as a tough, vengeful woman. It's really due to the fact that she doesn't ever display any emotions. She never seems in fear, even though she obviously gets into some very dangerous situations and she never seems sad, even though some very sad and dramatic things happen to her. It all would have been fine if she was playing a terminator but she's playing a real human character here and not only that; she's the main character and the one we are supposed to sympathize with the most.

The story is not only a 'slow' and mostly uninteresting one, it's also far too predictable. Absolutely nothing in this movie comes as a surprise and it pretty much is a movie by the numbers, except for its ending maybe, which however isn't a good ending at all!

The movie is still a pretty decent looking one, though not quite as atmospheric and bleak as a western should be like in my opinion. The action also comes across as weak and is also part of the reason why the movie never feels like a realistic, tense or engaging enough one.

So maybe it's not the worst new age western that I have ever seen but it surely still is one weak and mostly ineffective one.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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