It's the Wild West, circa 1870. Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope. As his group traverses the west, the once-simple journey grows treacherous, blurring the lines between hero, villain and damsel.
As Samuel Alabaster (Robert Pattinson) travels across the American Frontier, on a journey to marry the love he has always looked for, Penelope (Mia Wasikowski), life becomes more and more dangerous. Accompanied by his miniature horse, Butterscotch, and drunkard companion, Parson Henry (David Zellner), the lines between hero, villain and damsel in distress become more and more blurred in this comic reinvention of the classic western movie.Written by
DeAlan Wilson www.ComedyE.com
Robert Pattinson first read the script, but passed it on because he thought a movie like this would never get financed because he couldn't really categorize it. A few weeks later, he randomly watched the directors previous film Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014) at the cinema and loved it. Wanting to know who the directors were, he asked his agent about them and found out that he read the script for Damsel a few weeks earlier. See more »
Pointless feminist propaganda held up by exceptional technical prowess
This is "subversionist western" at its least emotional. There's a very good movie somewhere in this script, but the Zellners arent wise enough to execute to their full potential here. The cinematography, score, and acting (especially from David Zellner who channels the best of Woody Harrelson to combine it with a wimpier persona) all shoot well above par, making watching Damsel rather enjoyable. There are isolated moments that approach near perfection, but unlike better Westerns there is not the tonal confidence to glue the rest together. The Zellners set up rather intriguing backstories for the characters only to never explain them and squander the runtime on a three-quarters-baked attempt at cranking up a Coen brothers blend of comedy. It's usually very funny and well meaning, but I can't quite shake the feeling that this movie would have done better without repeated depictions of how strong the lone female character is against a slew of weak-minded males. The message is fine, but the time spent on it and the hammer over the head tone is apalling at times. It feels like they ran out of things to write about in the middle of the second act. In the end this movie gives you a lot to chew on but not much to really sink your teeth into.
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