Sunday, October 26, 2008
Ed Harris pulls off a trifecta, co-writing, directing and starring in this old fashioned western, in the tradition of "Unforgiven". While not as powerful as that classic, "Appaloosa" will still satisfy lovers of the western genre.
Viggo Mortensen co-stars as Everett Hitch, Mr. Harris's best friend. The two men make their living as lawmen for hire. The relationship between these two fine actors is relaxed and natural, and their characters are men you can believe in. Rene Zellweger plays the woman who comes between them in the town of Appaloosa. And rounding out the major players is Jeremy Irons as the villainous, Randall Bragg.
Much of the screenplay has been lifted verbatim from the novel by Robert B. Parker and there is some wonderful dialogue as well as beautiful cinematography by Dean Semler. The film moves slowly but methodically and is filled with many classic western themes and clichés. There are moments of suspense and surprise and while an enjoyable film, it doesn't break any new ground in a familiar genre.