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Alledged wayward adolescent Louisiana gentleman Michael 'Mike' Blueberry is dumped by his family with a Wild West uncle. The brute's only 'motivation' is a stick. After a nearly fatal encounter in the brothel with Wallace 'Wally' Sebastian Blount, Mike is left for dead in the desert. A Chiricuahua (Apache) medicine man's family finds, nurses and initiates him. After the shaman's death, Mike returns and becomes the town's honest 'deputy' marshal. Gold fever strikes, with staged Indian brutalities to allow rivaling fiends to invade their sacred mountains. Written by
Kick-ass character-based western with awesome visuals
I cannot believe the low ratings this film has gotten. It's got something for everyone, and not only that, but it's the German chocolate cake for genre-lovers. I have a list of reasons why people SHOULD love this film: 1. Michael Madsen. He's the best thing about this movie. He plays it subtle but he's got bad-ass pouring out of him. He's got everything a villain needs: a quality of making you feel guilty for loving him, a presence that blows you away and keeps you intimidated, and most of all, he's got his own agenda. Not only is he a great villain, but a deep, complex character as well.
2. Everybody else. Vincent Cassel, Julliette Lewis, and Djimon Hounsou especially. Cassel plays Blueberry as a likable hero, although, properly and meaningfully, bugs the audience on the factor of "he just hasn't learned yet". Julliette Lewis, though isn't given much, well, makes what she's given seem like a lot more than it is. I'm sure a lot of her wound up on the cutting room floor, though. Djimon Hounsou has an amazing presence as well. He's responsible for one of the most memorable scenes in the film. The rest of the cast played their roles respectively too. Colm Meaney played a good friend and was more than just the "comic relief character", although delivers comic relief when it's needed. Eddie Izzard loses the German accent occasionally, and plays the easy-to-hate coward in a, well, easy-to-hate way. But by the time he delivers his "men are monsters" line, you know that's all changed. Temeura Morrison add more to being the sage (yes, that's a pun) than just being the proper race. He's got the being-in-the-know thing down.
3. CGI at its best. Though your purist self may usually be screaming at CGI, you will be screaming "To Hell with practicality!" by the end of this film. Marc Caro was behind the special effects department, and you truly will be convinced that Jean-Pierre Jeunet has been wrongfully taking his credit the whole time.
4. The music! We've got our smörgåsbord of properly American West flavors with a beautiful orchestra on top of that.
5. The balance. It was in everything. From pleasing us with proper Western blood and violence while still maintaining a lack of senseless gore. The dialogue being able to remain practical and not drawing attention to itself while still keeping a Tarantino-esque flare along with it. The French art dousing the film while keeping a western attitude as its proper foundation. The cinematography of making you feel dirty and sweaty but while still making you free within the film's beautiful scenery. The pure originality this film radiates while still not forgetting what genre it's in. Even the balance between our love and hate for every single character for this film.
Here are the only possible reasons I can imagine someone not being able to like it: 1. Genre-haters, this ain't for you.
2. The "why-in-god's-name-did-Phil Collins-betray-me" purists, this film may be a tad too original for you. This film definitely defies the laws of tradition 3. Impatient sitters. Yes, it's true the first act was slow and slightly confusing. But it makes the rest all the stronger.
4. People who hate French-style heavy-handedness. Yeah, they didn't exactly need the "eyes of the eagle" thing. There's also this really bothersome scene where they have flowers blooming cut in, just to show "growth". That's actually probably the only problem with the picture actually. There's many instances where they use symbolism to state what the viewer already knows.
5. People who hate Michael Madsen. Well, there's probably enough else in this movie for you to like about it. But after you watch, I'll probably be at your house already making sure you experience a slow, horrible death.
Bottom Line: Heartbreakingly UNDERRATED. But usually with underrated films I can understand why I'm the only one who liked it, but this film seems to have a whole lot anybody of any bias can dig. In my bias, it all traces back to the balance: this film is fun and re-watchable while at the same time complex and original.
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