Buddies Pepper Lewis (Woody Harrelson) and Sonny Gilstrap (Kiefer Sutherland) who are championship rodeo partners travel to New York to find their missing friend, Nacho Salazar Joaquín Martínez after he disappears in New York City to pick up his daughter, Theresa (Cara Buono). When Pepper and Sonny find that neither is anywhere to be found, they go about the wacky adventure of finding Nacho and Theresa, and in the process, test the foundation of their friendship. Along the way, they find themselves entwined in the inner workings of a New York sweat shop where Theresa has been enslaved after traveling to the U.S.A. from Cuba. Going about doing things in a cowboy way, Pepper and Sonny put their small town skills to the test in a big city kind of way and rescue Theresa from the thugs. Written by
Chris Roybal <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As a native New Yorker I always look askance at The Cowboy Way because that last chase scene involving our heroes Kiefer Sutherland and Woody Harrelson is geographically impossible. Anyone who has some knowledge of the New York City Subway System can tell you that. Still The Cowboy Way is rollicking good entertainment.
The rollicking part is courtesy of its two leads. They play a pair of feuding rodeo cowboys. Sutherland is mad at Harrelson because of his general irresponsibility. But a good friend of their's is in trouble and Sutherland's got to put aside his attitude about Harrelson in order to help out. Harrelson of course doesn't make it easy.
Tomas Millian has paid money to smuggle his daughter Cara Buono from Cuba and now the coyotes are holding him up for more. He goes to New York and gets killed for his trouble. When Harrelson and Sutherland discover that, they're not about to wait for regular law enforcement to do its thing. That's just not The Cowboy Way.
As a sideline fashion designer Marg Helgenberger thinks Harrelson has possibilities as an underwear model and maybe she'd like to explore that with him. They also have a wonderful scene at the Waldorf Astoria hotel and restaurant where these two think its just your basic motel, a little upscale.
The guy who carries the serious part of the film is villain Dylan McDermott and he's as serious as a crutch. But apparently he's starting to listen to his crotch before his head where Buono is concerned. It's a weakness of the film, because when the good guys are closing in, McDermott probably could get away if he wasn't dragging Buono along with him.
Of course the highlight for me is that wonderful scene at the Central Park Petting Zoo where Sutherland and Harrelson teach McDermott henchman Luis Guzman the way Pancho Villa used to get information from people not willing to give it up. It involves a weaning calf and it's hilarious and a little frightening to the male of the species.
Despite its story weaknesses, The Cowboy Way is one hysterical film and you'll have a good time seeing it. And since this film is about rodeo cowboys, this review is dedicated to the recently retired Justin McBride of the Professional Bullriders. A man definitely dedicated to The Cowboy Way in his sport and in life.
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