Tuesday, August 19, 2003

In spite of knowing better, I really wanted to like Open Range, since it's gotten some good reviews, and I love violent real Westerns. Unfortunately, Kevin Costner and his crew film Open Range--and here I steal a Buffy line--like they have sausages taped to their fingers. Everything but Robert Duvall's wonderful Boss character feels clumsy and off. The villains are barely two-dimensional, the Costner character's romance with Annette Bening doesn't work, and a relentless sentimentality overwhelms any charm that threatens to appear. The concluding gunfight is satisfyingly bloody and realistic, but the run-up to it never feels very dramatic. Other than Duvall's performance, there is precious little memorable about this film.

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