Film Review: ‘Big Kill’

  • Variety
Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear — specifically, the mid-1950s to the late ’60s — when Paramount and Warner Bros. relied on producers such as A.C. Lyles and Hal Wallis, and directors like Henry Hathaway, Gordon Douglas, and Burt Kennedy, to maintain a steady flow of workmanlike Westerns for consumption by diehard horse opera fans at theaters and drive-ins everywhere. That’s the invitation extended by writer-director-star Scott Martin’s “Big Kill,” one of the precious few Westerns of recent years that one can easily imagine as a decades-ago vehicle for John Wayne, Dean Martin, James Stewart, and their contemporaries with only minor tweaking of the script.

Yes, it clocks in at a leisurely 127 minutes, but that makes it only four minutes longer than John Ford’s “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962) — just one of the obvious influences on Martin’s scenario about an upright tenderfoot
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