A few tweaks here and there, and these guys could be a force to be reckoned with.
When a group of cannibal savages kidnaps settlers from the small town of Bright Hope, an unlikely team of gunslingers, led by Sheriff Franklin Hunt, sets out to bring them home.
But their enemy is more ruthless than anyone could have imagined, putting their mission, and survival itself – in serious jeopardy……..
For face value, this looks like just another western Kurt Russell made after The Hateful Eight, because he had the time and the facial hair. Add an impressive cast and Sean Young, and again, on face value alone, you’d expect some slow burning, but well acted old fashioned western.
Ha ha to you if you are thinking of avoiding this because of the above beliefs, because this is so etching else. Even though the opening five minutes teases the viewer with things to come, Bone Tomahawk doesn’t just work because of its stranger than thou final forty minutes, it’s the camaraderie of the four main characters during their long arduous journey to the unknown.
Russell is wonderful as expected, like Jeff Bridges in True Grit but coherent. Wilson plays the walking wounded, and for the most part he does grate a little, but surprises toward the end. But Jenkins is absolutely wonderful as Chicory, and it took me a good hour before I realised that it was him, as he’s almost unrecognisable and plays his character down throughout the film.
Fox is good, but he looks a little out of place in his white suit and a permanent look on his face as if he’s saying ‘mmmmmmmmmm’.
So for about ninety minutes, give or take a couple of scenes, it’s a slow burner, the four men bonding, and coming to blows as their little traits start to aggrieved each other. And although this sounds like a bit of a slog, it’s the first five minutes with Arquette and Haig that keep you entranced, because you know that there is a different film here somewhere, and the four protagonists are slowly making their way toward it.
And then the film goes in another direction, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it has one of the most disturbing scenes you will see on screen this year. And then it just gets all the more bizarre, and kudos for the film for doing this.
The four leads have so much chemistry that the running time just seems to go by so quickly, and there are times among the stark brutality, that there shades of wonderful humour.
Heaven knows why this won’t get a wide release, twenty years ago it would have been one of the years big releases, but hey, studios don’t like taking chances on originality.
Catch it as soon as you can, it’s one of the best westerns of the last twenty years.