Set after the American Civil War in the 1870s, 'Texas Rangers' is a story about a group of men determined to maintain peace and contain the chaos that is erupting on the Texan frontier. Native Americans are attempting to reclaim their land, Mexicans are pouring over the U.S. border, and renegade outlaws are tearing up the state, so the Texas Rangers swear to protect the innocent and their loved. To do so, they must be willing to maintain the peace where law enforcement cannot, fight while they are out-manned and out-armed by the opponent, and be willing to die for the freedom for which they fight.Written by
The film was in development for many, many years. In its earliest stages, it was planned as a directorial project for Sam Peckinpah. See more »
The film is supposed to take place along the Nueces Strip, the coastal line from Nueces County to Brownsville. However, the film frequently shows hills and mountains, which are not found within 200 miles of the Nueces Strip. See more »
Better Than It Might Have Been, Not as Good As It Could Be
I'd heard this movie was coming, was told it was missable, missed it, forgot about it and then saw it when it reached Showtime. I taped it and I'm glad I did, because it deserves a second watching. It also deserves better than it got from just about everyone who touched it along the way, from the studio who held it and re-edited it and sorta dumped it into theatres with little publicity, to the critics who quickly panned it, partly, I'm sure because so many of the actors are familiar faces from TV or music video.
The movie has flaws. It plays very much like a pilot for a TV series, albeit with better production values. The plot seems uneven, which may be the script, but feels more like bad editing. I have a feeling that it was shot as an R and edited into a PG-13 and suffered for it. It is derivative, but so is most drama, even Shakespeare.
The feel of the movie is fairly accurate to the time and place, with just a couple of jarring moments. While I think Usher did a great job with his character, there is no way that a reconstruction-era Texas Ranger Company would have included a Negro -- or that he would have called himself "black." For the truly steeped in Western history the character of King Fisher was way off base. This is, however, the kind of flaw we've seen in Westerns that used the names of famous or infamous characters and little else about them.
I liked the movie. If it was a pilot for a weekly series, I would make time for it in my busy TV-viewing schedule. Watching Dylan McDermott pass the reins of command to James Van Der Beek, who showed his mettle as a leader, was worth the time spent getting there. Most of the rest of the actors did a decent job with the plot they were given and the lines they had to speak. Robert Patrick and Randy Travis are journeymen, and acted like it. The younger cast members did well, but I have to admit I kept expecting Ashton Kutcher to ask where his horse was, Dude. I would like to have seen more development of the character Rachael Leigh Cook played. Though she was more outspoken than most young women of the period, there were some like her and it would have been interesting to see where that went.
If ever a movie cried out for a "director's cut" DVD, this is the one. I don't think Steve Miner set out to make a nearly $40 million dollar bomb. Someone hijacked this project and ran it off the tracks, in my opinion. I'd like to see the movie all these people thought they were making.
Would I recommend it? Yes, with the reservations I outlined. Call it a 6 out of 10. And I will see it again. There are nits to be picked about the firearms used, always a sore point with this reviewer, who portrays a US Deputy Marshal in the 1880s on weekends and has seldom seen a movie without flaws in this area.
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