In marshal Virgil Cole and deputy Everett Hitch's line of work, you shoot quick, you shoot clean and you reload straightaway. No feelings. Feelings get you killed. Paired as rivals in A History of Violence, Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen stand together as friends and for-hire peacekeepers Cole and Hitch in a character-driven, bullet-hard Western based on Robert B. Parker's novel. As the woman who arrives in town with only a dollar and a keen sense of survival, Renee Zellweger adds feelings - those things that can get you killed - to a quest to bring murderer Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) to justice. Blood will spill in the town called Appaloosa.
A fine entry in the class of 2008.
- Appaloosa review by Jawbreaker
(5) of (9) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 4
A decent modern take on western and one that managed to keep me entertained until the very end. Initially I believed that this was nothing more than two law guns for hire tracking down a sheriff killer and bringing him to justice. Yet the film produces memorable twists and performances to warrant your attention. Even Zellweger is ideally cast and not too annoying as she can often be. Viggo Mortensen turns another understated effort, being the brains of the outfit, with Jeremy Irons installing his customary presence in the role of the main villain.
Directed by Ed Harris it is an extremely promising effort in one of the blandest of genres. By that I mean its very difficult to bring something new to the Western, this is no El Topo or violent epic yet the fact that Harris has managed to deliver a refreshing film is praise in itself. Arguably more could have been made of the landscape as in Seraphim Falls, but that will come from experience.
I had not appreciated how unfashionable the Western genre was until I watched this. Why? Well it is all about bravado and mysogamy, dusty horses and whiskey. There are superheroes and desired dames, is it so different from Bond or so many others? I think it that the Wild West is not a reality easy to identify with. I haven't watched a Western for a long while and although this is a good one I won't watch another for a while.
An unremarkable western.
- Appaloosa review by Shatner's Bassoon
(0) of (1) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 3
I'm surprised to see positive reviews for this film, for me it was a fairly average character based western and it was only in the final 10 minutes that the story came alive. While the acting was universally good with a great cast, the direction was nothing special, the plotline a little clichéd and predictable and the only interesting aspect of the film was the relationship between Virgil, Everett and Allison. If this was a made for TV film it would be a fairly decent effort, but as a feature film it’s pretty forgettable. If you’ve not seen them yet I would give this a miss and rent the superb HBO series ‘Deadwood’ and the equally good ‘Broken Trail’, or ‘Lonesome Dove’ and its relevant sequels.