The Rogues of Flat Oak
- 1h 34min
A renowned shootist and his friend get mixed up with a con artist and a vigilante group while performing a shooting exhibition in the town of Flat Oak.A renowned shootist and his friend get mixed up with a con artist and a vigilante group while performing a shooting exhibition in the town of Flat Oak.A renowned shootist and his friend get mixed up with a con artist and a vigilante group while performing a shooting exhibition in the town of Flat Oak.
The ambitious production values all over director Michael Fredianelli's new Wild Dogs western must signify a major elevated status in budget. It's upgraded in many places, be it the swelling French horns on the soundtrack or the biblical drone shots. Yet it disappoints in others where numerous characters break period so badly in costuming, one wonders why cast members were allowed untucked peach Polo shirts, Bret Michaels cowboy hats, Wrangler belt buckles and jeans to form an ensemble.
The gorgeous elements in location and cinematography are sweeping, but do they support, style and content-wise, David Lambert's turgid script? The movie almost looks (and sounds) like "Silverado" during its virtuous moments, but when the conventional characters veer off into thoroughly unique and depraved adventures (and language), it is cause for celebration. One sex party of bumbling stooges is filled with graphic unmentionables, split pee-pees, bloody close-ups of fundament, excreta, and other motifs of R rated excess. If you enjoy an unbalanced product, "Rogues" provides enough sordid highlights to thankfully taint the Morgan Freeman musical cues, awkwardness, and earnest emotion onscreen; the shifting atmospherics become entertainment.
The exceptional acting from leads Joseph Paul, James Allen Brewer and Dominic Olivo is refreshing. John Bramhall dominates the screen with his blubbery, disturbing cuckold who not only orders up murder and torture, but models one of the movie's best suits during a gratifying comeuppance.
Though the lesser characters display little depth or appeal--or common sense, such as a lead Trampler paying new hires buttloads of money with no background check--a finale involving Todd Risby in a butterscotch suit, settling a grudge, is so poetic one wishes there were no close-ups to the bad makeup. Or that his adversary didn't look like he just stepped out of a Tombstone gift shop.
As a western, the cosmetics are sloppy but Lambert's unique, grotesque vision, Fredianelli's gripping and well-directed sequences plus the spirited performances make it an enjoyable watch.
- Mar 2, 2019