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Only a few things more painful than a movie that tries to be something that it just isn't. Instead of being a gritty and realistic western epic, this is nothing more but a weak- and even somewhat of an amateur-like attempt at a western.

Just about everything about this movie is weak. The writing, the acting, the settings, the action, the characters. Really, I could go on and on. I also just can't imaging any western lovers going to end up liking this movie. On the contrary. It lacks everything that makes a western great and distinguishable.

That to me was the main problem with this movie; it in no way, shape or form looks or ever remotely feels like a western. The movie has a far too modern, slick and clean look. Nothing raw, nothing dirty and therefore also most definitely nothing realistic about this movie. Nothing wrong with taking a different approach to a genre, but it in this case really doesn't work out with its story, characters and settings. Besides, it makes the movie look cheap, though there are plenty of other elements that are responsible for this.

It actually is a pretty clumsy movie. The directing is definitely lacking and it fails to ever provide the movie with a proper enough pace and to ever make things both interesting and engaging to watch. Not just the director's fault of course, but the lacking directing most definitely contributes to the fact that the movie just feels 'off' and nothing about it ever works out very well. There is never a pleasant flow to things and nothing really ever seems to develop within its story. It besides is all quite lackluster, so please don't except any gun fights or horseback chases.

Like basically all westerns; the main story is a pretty basic and straightforward one, that builds and relies heavily on its main character. Problem however is that the main character isn't a very interesting one to begin with. He isn't even all that likable and besides poorly developed. Luke Hemsworth also just didn't seem right for the role. Next to simply just not being a very impressive actor, he also lacked the right sort of charisma and star power to carry this movie. It is amazing to me how many great and well known other actors decided to show up in this movie. Bruce Dern, Kris Kristofferson, I am looking at you. What on Earth are you doing in this movie?

The story fails to leave much of an impression. Like I said, most of this has to do with its main character, but it obviously doesn't help much that there just isn't ever anything good or interesting happening within the movie its story. This is nothing too uncommon for a western actually, but usually there still are some other elements present in it, such as a good villain, spectacular- or raw impressive moments, to compensate for this and make things still either enjoyable or engaging enough to watch, but this movie lacks all of it. It is not fun, it is never engaging, not spectacular and most certainly not very memorable as a movie.

A real failed western, with a lacking script, weak characters, none to little action and some below average directing. It is best to avoid to movie, even- or perhaps especially, if you are really into westerns.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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