When a Midwest town learns that a corrupt railroad baron has captured the deeds to their homesteads without their knowledge, a group of young ranchers join forces to take back what is ...
See full summary »
When a Midwest town learns that a corrupt railroad baron has captured the deeds to their homesteads without their knowledge, a group of young ranchers join forces to take back what is rightfully theirs. In the course of their vendetta, they will become the object of the biggest manhunt in the history of the Old West and, as their fame grows, so will the legend of their leader, a young outlaw by the name of Jesse James. Written by
The first Western film of the millennium is adouble-shooter!
After what seemed to be a dearth of good Western films in the past 10 years, "AMERICAN OUTLAWS" may just be the film to give the genre exactly what it needs - an injection of flair transfused with an updated story line that will appeal to this generation while keeping its Western roots intact.
The last decent Western film was 1993's TOMBSTONE. Both a critical and financial disappointment, too many duds followed in its steps. Kevin Costner's lavish and way over-long WYATT EARP, Sharon Stone's turkey THE QUICK AND THE DEAD, 1997's hit-and-miss THE NEWTON BOYS, 1999's big budget extravaganza WILD WILD WEST and last year's goof ball comedy SHANGHAI NOON, are just some of the examples that come to mind. None of these films stayed true to the Western genre, in fact, they seem only to have been made in the hope of generating big box office dollars by pitting big named actors against a Western backdrop.
And then there's AMERICAN OUTLAWS. A new Western film with little known actors and a smaller budget than most films. I must admit, the idea of Colin Farrell playing a young Jesse James was rather interesting. After seeing him in last year's indie-smash TIGERLAND (which I thought was one of 2000's best films), I have become an avid fan and I will now see anything with him in it. Also being a big fan of Western films, this movie was a MUST for me.
After a town discovers that a railroad baron has taken the Deeds to their homesteads without their knowledge, a group of young men decide to band together and take him on to set things right. Our unlikely heroes consist of the "Younger" brothers, headed by Cole (played by Scott Caan of VARSITY BLUES fame) and the "James" brothers, led by Jesse himself and his younger brother Frank. Both Cole and Jesse butt heads over leadership of the gang which will ultimately lead to bitter rivalry. Ali Larter (of FINAL DESTINATION) plays Jesse James' girlfriend, Zee.
When their adventure starts, they will ultimately become wanted outlaws after they start robbing banks. Timothy Dalton plays Allan Pinkerton, a man vowed to bringing them to justice. There is also a surprise cameo by Kathy Bates as the mother of the James brothers. This film will certainly deliver enough thrills and action to keep you interested the whole way through.
Colin Farrell yet again pins down his role by displaying his wide range of talents and again, mastering the US accent perfectly. He somehow carries the flair and likeability of Brad Pitt without being 'too' pretty, while also having the ability to take on the difficult role of making us like a character who is actually a wrong-doer.
I was most surprised by Ali Larter. Most recently she has a small role in LEGALLY BLONDE, but it is her role in FINAL DESTINATION that first caught my attention. In that particular film, she played a meek and quiet girl with long brown hair who had serious issues to deal with. Here, she is a stunning gutsy blonde babe who has gumption and flair, which goes to show that she is more than two-dimensional when it comes to portraying different characters. I admired her in both of these movies and I predict that this is only the beginning of better things that will eventually come to her.
Fortunately, this film is not overly violent as such classics like THE WILD BUNCH or THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN which took pride in examining bloodshed and portraying the West as a dirty bloody landscape that leaves no soul left unharmed. Another bright point is the fact that this film contains next to no foul language at all (which these days is quite a relief!). So this movie really isn't just a "guy's flick" because of all the shooting action, and it isn't just a "chick's flick" because it stars two attractive up-and-coming actors, Farrell and Caan. This is a movie that I think will appeal to everyone.
I was quite amazed at how much I enjoyed this movie. It is certainly a fresh alternative to all those teen-flicks and gross-out comedies that seem to be crowding our local mega-plexes as of late.
I highly recommend this to everyone.
17 of 34 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?