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