The basic plot and plot turns in this made-for-tv western (probably a pilot for a proposed series) will be very familiar to even those who seldom watch westerns. What's really a surprise is that this was written by famed writer Elmore Leonard, who in the past wrote superior western stories (some of which have been filmed, like "Valdez Is Coming".) And though it is just 90 minutes long, it feels very stretched out (was this originally written as a 60 minute pilot?)
Still, there's occasionally some good dialogue, and it has a acceptable gritty feeling without the "gloss" associated with made-for-tv movies being made today. There are also a few striking visuals as well as some good action sequences. It's nice also that the ethnicity of Kotto's character is never once referred to (and he makes a good henchman.) Western fans will probably be satisfied, though it sure won't make any converts.
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