The adventures and love lives of young Texas Rangers Woodrow Call and Augustus McRae leading up to their retirement to the city of Lonesome Dove.The adventures and love lives of young Texas Rangers Woodrow Call and Augustus McRae leading up to their retirement to the city of Lonesome Dove.The adventures and love lives of young Texas Rangers Woodrow Call and Augustus McRae leading up to their retirement to the city of Lonesome Dove.
"Commanche Moon" is definitely worth a watch for any fan of westerns. Just don't expect it to be as intense as "Lonesome Dove." Steve Zahn and Karl Urban are not Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, and the characters they play aren't as strong as how Duvall and Jones portrayed the same two guys. Some say it's unfair to criticize this movie because of the comparison but you have to compare it - it's the story of the same two leading Texas Ranger characters: "Woodrow Call" and "Gus McCrae."
The main difference, I found, was that this prequel is a lot of slower and more relational (the two Rangers and their women) at times. Yet, I didn't mind that because the two main women were pretty ladies and generally likable and agreeable people. They were played nicely by Linda Cardelini ("Clara Forsythe") and Elizabeth Banks ("Maggie.").. They helped make this long movie palatable. If you've seen pictures of women in the Old West, none of them looked half as pretty as Cardelini and Banks, though. They were a joy for these male eyes to ogle. Maggie's son "Newt" was a wonderful kid, too - the kind of boy every parent would want..
The most interesting character, I thought, turned out to be "Inish Scull," played by Val Kilmer. As in the western film, "Tombstone," Kilmer almost steals the show from the leads. "Scull" is really an original, if I ever saw one: a strange dude, indeed.
Actually, all of the supporting actors in here did a fine job, from Keith Robinson's "Deets" to Wes Studi as "Buffalo Hump." I always find Studi to be fascinating, no matter what role he plays. I wish he had had a bigger role in this miniseries.
One thing this film has in common with "Lonesome Dove" and other good westerns: the scenery and photography. It's just beautiful at times and is a joy to watch. We also have an excellent director of this film: Simon Wincer, who directed "Lonesome Dove" and an another outstanding TV western, "Crossfire Trail." He also did two of my other favorite feature films, both based in his home country of Australia: "Phar Lap" and "Quigley Down Under."
Unfortunately, although I enjoyed this, "Commanche Moon" is nothing as good as the above-mentioned films.Yet, I still watched all of it and was sorry it ended, if that makes any sense. It made me want to watch Woodrow and Gus again, this time with Tommy Lee and Robert.
Note: The title page says this is 360 minutes. That must have included the TV commercials. The two-disc DVD version I saw was about 4 hours and 40 minutes.
- Mar 3, 2008