(The title of this review in honor of the 1995 Sam Raimi flick "The Quick and the Dead," yet another director who decided to take the Italian Western genre out for a spin, wind her up, and see what she can do.)
Now it is Ti West's turn at bat, a director known for "fringe" pictures but, to be fair, this type of film probably qualifies as fringe too.
Although a great many directors (including, believe it or not, the great Tarantino and even Eastwood himself) have taken on the challenge of this genre, the truth is that Sergio Leone -- the man who invented the category -- is the only director in history to have fully mastered it.
(Have seen the Man With No Name trilogy a half-dozen times so far, and I am not done yet.)
Which does not mean -- as the other reviewers have already noted -- that the attempt, even if it falls short a mite, cannot be fun.
And this movie definitely qualifies as fun.
Hawke is a great choice, at the same time skittish, taciturn, and yet also strangely dangerous.
Travolta will always be Travolta. He has been playing the same role since Kotter, and audiences never get bored.
The most fun is watching Taissa Farmiga chew up the furniture. Clearly the young lady wants to show the world that she has her sister's acting chops, so she does not merely enter a scene, she attacks it and wrestles it to the ground.
In different circumstances, this strange brew might have missed the mark. But it didn't. Clearly West's main goal was to entertain.
And that is exactly what he did.
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