Sunday, September 28, 2008

Appoloosa - A Review

What do you get when you
- take one part Ed Harris
- add one part Viggo Mortensen
- stir in some Renee Zellweger
- and twist in a bit of Jeremy Irons?

Appaloosa - The Movie

Last week I stepped out to check it out. And I'll tell you this much without giving the story away-

If you were hoping for a tempestuous and rowdy shoot em up western you might want to rethink your motivation. For a movie that seemed to be about two ruthless gunfighters struggling for control of the town of Appaloosa, I somehow found myself crossed. Somewhere in the interchange, this movie turned out to be just as much about love triangles as it was about good guys and bad guys shooting it out. Don't get me wrong, it has a few classic gun scenes where the heroes shoot it out with the villains, but those were balanced by the warm sentimental romantic moments. But that's okay with me, I can be a sentimental guy. I suppose I should have expected it given these actors.

Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen play characteric roles in Appaloosa and are well matched and equally paced in their acting rhythm. They also have an insidious romantic appeal. Eastern Promises, Pollock, Crimson Tide, and The Rock were all movies which starred either Harris or Mortensen and I contend that before the movie was over you liked them for some other intangible reason and not their ability to quick draw or kill bad guys in the movie. In these movies they were consistently smooth and more cerebral. Most of these movies are reflective of their low-keyed, cool and calm demeanor. Harris gets a bit animated in The Rock but mostly, he plays a very calculating and credible character. And that's how he plays it in Appaloosa. Viggo, well he's just Viggo!

The bottom line - I'd rate this movie a "B" - Definitely worth the time and money for me to see it. Purely for its' entertainment value alone. If you enjoy the wide vistas and classic western scenery, it may be better for you to catch on the big screen. Otherwise, you can wait for the DVD to come out and catch it at home with some home-made popcorn and a cold beer.

By the way, another movie with a similar name but a different story is The Appaloosa, starring Marlon Brando. This story kind of centers around a horse which is an Appaloosa. If you're bored and you like Brando, pick it up. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

The Appaloosa

And if you're looking for another movie starring both Harris and Mortensen, try - A history of Violence which was released in 2005.

Happy Trails!


MickisMorsels said...

Nice review. My husband has a hard time getting me to watch this genre. I'll just act like I'm making a big sacrifice and know now that I'll actually like it. Aren't I a stinker? :-P

intrepidideas said...

Micki... Oh, you are sneaky! Maybe you can barter for it. Perhaps you could get him to sit down and watch Desperate Houswives with you in exchange for it.... I'm sure you'll come up with something good. Just be sure to tell us! :)

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed in this started out well, great actors (love all three leads) and the costumes, look of the movie is very good but what some call romantic is nothing more than sexual addiction. The female lead would have been shot by Harris for what she does...and those were the worst Apaches ever,all would have died. The shootout is not real, Harris would never had let them fire first nor would they have waited two hours...he would have shot them the minute he saw them because he knew who they were. Sad because the movie could have turned out much better.

intrepidideas said...


Thanks for the visit and the input. I agree, there was so much more potential for a great movie. But that's not what we got. My comment "If you were hoping for a tempestuous and rowdy shoot em up western you might want to rethink your motivation." Seems like you agree. Please Come back!