Director: Jon Cassar
Writer: Brad Mirman
Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Brian Cox, Michael Wincott, Aaron Poole, Demi Moore, Greg Ellis
Running Time: 90 min
Rated: R (Violence & Language)
IN THEATERS AND AVAILABLE ON VOD: February 19, 2016
In 1872, Fowler Wyoming’s bad boy John Henry Clayton (Keifer Sutherland, 24) returns home after retiring from gunfighting. When he makes it home to his father Reverend Clayton (Donald Sutherland, The Hunger Games franchise), he learns of all the events he missed while he was away. His mother died and his sweetheart Mary-Alice (Demi Moore, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle) has married and had a son. The town is now run by the evil James McCurdy (Brian Cox) who has hired a gang of thugs who terrorize and bully the townspeople. The town wants someone to save them and drive out McCurdy and his men, however John Henry has vowed to keep his promise to his mother by leveling the forest by his father’s home and starting crops; he quietly tells the townsfolk he has left his violent life behind. When the gang makes the mistake of brutally attacking the Reverend, John Henry knows he must put a stop to the violence, by using his skills he was hoping to never have to use again.
The Good: The acting is good. I loved the character Dave Turner (Michael Wincott, The Crow), as the hired gunslinger. In all seriousness, he was such a classy guy. I would’ve liked more screen-time for him. Everybody else was cookie-cutter western cliche, and then here’s this dude. I would’ve preferred a story from the gun for hire’s point of view.
The Bad: It’s almost like a retelling of Shane (1953, Alan Ladd), and we don’t need a reboot of a classic. That’s almost blasphemy. Brian Cox is no Jack Palance, although they could’ve done more to make him just as despicable. Yeah he’s an asshole, but he’s a typical Trump-like greedy asshole that’s been overdone and easy to defeat. The cinematography was lovely, but too much time was spent on scenery than actual storytelling. It dragged far too long in most scenes.The film could’ve been summed up in less than an hour, as the majority of the story is wrapped up in the last 20 minutes.
Fans of old westerns may like Forsaken. The violence isn’t too bloody, but just enough to not upset your grandparents. You can go eat dinner through most of the boring scenes and come back for the last 20 minutes to finish it.
Total Rating: C+
Reviewed by: JM Willis