A female gunfighter returns to a frontier town where a dueling tournament is being held, which she enters in an effort to avenge her father's death.A female gunfighter returns to a frontier town where a dueling tournament is being held, which she enters in an effort to avenge her father's death.A female gunfighter returns to a frontier town where a dueling tournament is being held, which she enters in an effort to avenge her father's death.
Looking at the list of names it is evident that the casting director is very good at his/her job as they managed to catch several big names, get several stars who were a few years away from hitting big and also get veteran faces as well. The ensemble of well known faces suits this film as the focus is very much on style and appearance than it is on substance. As a plot it takes the well known genre of the revenge western and makes a sort of pastiche of it. Thus we have the OTT and hyper direction of Rami and gun fights that are delivered with energy and shots that have no bearing to reality.
When I think about the actual plot, it really should bother me more than it does. The plot is pretty thin and contains nothing that you can't see coming from about the first 20 minutes of the film certainly the woman's `secret' will be no mystery to anyone who has seen `Once Upon A Time In The West' which it clearly apes in this regard. What exists in the place of a wider plot is characters and style. The style is fun and energetic and will appeal to fans of Evil Dead etc.
The characters themselves are also pretty good, each has a little back story which helps to fill out the running time without getting too serious. Stone does surprisingly well in the lead, she's no Clint Eastwood but she leads the cast well which is no mean feat when you look at the credits. Hackman is a gleefully good villain even more mean and unrepentant that his character in Unforgiven. Crowe and DiCaprio were both a few years from the levels of stardom they now hold, but both are engaging and enjoyable. The support cast is also full of names and faces you'll recognise either as solid support actors of recent films or older faces. For example Henriksen, David, Sinise, Hingle, Bell and Blossom.
Overall this film might infuriate you if you are looking for a film that has more substance than style, as this is the other way round. However fans of Rami's style and/or revenge westerns will find much to enjoy here. Every time I see it I always find it hard not to get caught up in the atmosphere it creates.
- bob the moo
- Jul 6, 2003