Sunday, January 10, 2016

Jason versus Bone Tomahawk

2015 was the year of the Kurt Russell Western. Not only was the legendary actor back on the big screen with a vengeance, he played a cowboy in two very diverse films set in the old west. One of my favourite actors starring in one of my favourite genres. Bliss.

Granted, neither The Hateful Eight nor Bone Tomahawk are straight-up Westerns. And their appeal beyond a limited fanbase might be, well, limited. But The Hateful Eight is one of my favourite films of 2015. So where does Bone Tomahawk fit into the mix? Stick with me.

Bone Tomahawk is a slow-burn character piece about a group of men who go to rescue a woman and a deputy from a group of cannibal cave dwellers. Think Unforgiven meets The Hills Have Eyes and you kinda get the picture. Kinda.

This isn't a big sky John Ford Western or rough and tumble spaghetti Western. Everything feels pretty authentic, even the cannibals. And who's to say there weren't First Nations tribes who resorted to such things during frontier times.

Most of the action takes place during the final half hour. Getting there does take time, but we get to know the characters well along the way and become invested in them. Or at least I did. When the killing starts, there's a price to be paid and it isn't pretty. For anyone.

S. Craig Zehler capably wrote and directed the movie. And he assembled a great cast of genre veterans, including Russell, Richard Jenkins, Matthew Fox and Patrick Wilson. Even Sid Haig and David Arquette turn up. Everyone does a commendable job.

This isn't a rousing Friday night beer movie. But it is a really, really good genre flick deserving of your attention. Would I put it on a Top 10 list? Sure. More toward the lower end, but definitely check it out.

3 comments:

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