Newest Review: ... previous roles across the mid-west. Their reputation precedes them it seems and they are given full control over the law of the town to e... more
Member Name: goldenbat666
Advantages: Fabulous performances and landscapes
Disadvantages: Serious mis-casting of Zellweger, the odd music and all-too familiar plot
Casting Renée Zellweger as a seductive, Southern belle was a huge mistake. There is nothing wrong with her acting (she is actually pretty fantastic, given the mis-casting) but the looks and the vibe she carries is all wrong for the role she is given. Ed Harris, (most definitely the most underrated actors of our time) and Viggo Mortensen however have great chemistry with her and also with each other. Because of the fine performances the emotional scenes are handled well with a great sense of passion and confidence. Jeremy Irons also succeeds in taking up an excellent villainous role. Despite the cast's best effort, the two main areas where the film has its weaknesses are the plot and the music. Some odd, off-beat music is used when it does not quite fit the serious, foreboding atmosphere. But at the most crucial moments, (thank god) the proper music does come back to heighten the effectiveness of the dramatic scenes. The plot is way too familiar - it covers the already seen ideas and sub-plots of love, violence, betrayal, dignity and honour. This falls short to the outstanding standards of some of the greatest Westerns. Whilst this probably will not remain as a classic, Ed Harris proves that he can direct just as well as he can act, capturing the most magnificent scenery, as well as compelling performances.
Summary: Not great, but certainly worth the time