Money For Old Rope
- Dollar for the Dead review by Count Otto Black
This is what happens when you try to make a spaghetti western 30 years too late and your name isn't Quentin Tarentino. Every single thing in the film, starting with the name of the production company, is a nod to an earlier, better spaghetti western, apart from the bits pinched from other films that weren't westerns but did involve lots of gunplay. Bored with all those Sergio Leone references? Never mind, suddenly it's gone all John Woo, and the hero is shooting people with two pistols at once while flying through the air sideways in slow motion! There are even borrowings from Luc Besson and the Coen brothers somewhere in the muddle. I was going to say "train-wreck", but strangely no trains are wrecked in this wannabe epic, or indeed featured at all, presumably because the budget didn't run to anything more expensive than blowing up a few patches of dirt and half a stagecoach.
The result is, of course, an incoherent mess. I don't know what director Gene Quintano looks like, but I picture him as a middle-aged man who still wears a backwards baseball cap and says "awesome" a lot. The use of plot-elements from other movies purely for the sake of name-dropping is so overdone that, although the hero spends almost the entire film toting around an unexplained coffin, nobody comments on this, or even seems to notice, because everyone this movie is aimed at can guess what's in the box, so I assume the director just plain forgot that the characters couldn't. Confusing action scenes in a mixture of styles, some of them too dark to see properly, don't exactly help. And although Emilio Estevez does his best to talk like Clint Eastwood, he has the charisma of a dead fish, and pretty much the same facial expression.
I awarded it two stars because it does at least deliver plenty of the promised action, much of which is so silly that you can't help smiling. And for real movie buffs, spotting the more obscure references partially distracts you from a terminally chaotic plot and a hero so wooden that he almost makes it seem as if the rest of the cast can act. By the way, at no point in the film are any dead people given any dollars.
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