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 ...
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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
Here's a trick you can try right now. For an immediate sneak-preview of Blueberry's peyote-soaked finale, scrunch the ball of your palms firmly into your eye sockets. The ensuing geometric light show is but a fraction of what's on offer in this loose adaptation of Jean 'Moebius' Giraud's comic strip. In the 1870s, wild-child Mike Blueberry (Cassel) is adopted by Chiracahua Indians and, Carlos Castaneda-style, initiated into their shamanic rituals. Later, as a small-town sheriff, he encounters an old nemesis, the mysterious Wally Blount (Madsen), on the hunt for hidden Indian 'gold', climaxing in an all-out, psychedelic showdown. Suffice to say, the treasure Blount seeks isn't of the bankable variety (but it glimmers all the same). Blueberry's pretty unique; its closest cousin is probably that other 'existentialist Western' El Topo. And like Jodorowsky's movie, it's mesmerising at best, unfocused and pretentious at worst. There's some gorgeous cinematography here, while the astonishing CGI-rendered visions (featuring multi-tentacled hydras and other entheogenic plant spirits commonly reported from such trips) not only make 2001's 'Star Gate' sequence look like a walk in the park, but have also been authenticated and approved by real-life South American shamans. That's partly the problem: director Kounen spent a long time researching among the shamans, and Blueberry does betray the conviction of the newly converted at the narrative's expense; the cast (including Eddie Izzard cameoing as a Prussian mercenary) often seem slightly bemused themselves. A failure, then, but a noble and courageous one.
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