Bone Tomahawk (2015)

It's fairly rare to find a western being produced nowadays, and it's even more rare to find a good one. It was with a heavy heart that I realized that Bone Tomahawk starred Kurt Russell. Fact is, I really liked the movie Tombstone, but Kurt was very bad in it. In fact, there were mediocre to bad performances all around except for Val Kilmer. That movie was peak Kilmer. He owned the whole movie, and Costner's Wyatt Earp that came after it was a pitiable mess partly because that Doc Holiday couldn't hold up to Val.

The movie starts with a couple of idiots killing a party of cowboys in the middle of nowhere. David Arquette is the younger of the thieves, and he's the one that survives the encounter with what we come to find out are uncivilized Indians. There is a distinction here between regular Native Americans and these ridiculously evil Indians (their word, not mine) who have no culture or language of their own.

In this movie, Kurt came to act, and he did probably the best job I've ever seen him do. He plays the local town sheriff who come across David and immediately knows he's up to no good. So, he goes over to the bar with his backup deputy played by Richard Jenkins. Richard plays a bumbling, doddering old coot who has a mind that wanders like the Rio Grande.

Needless to say, hijinks ensue, and the evil band of Indians swoops into town to take David, Lili Simmons (who was seeing to his wounds) and some other guy. back to their hole in the mountain to do unspeakable things to them all. On the quest to take them back are Kurt and his lovable sidekick with Patrick Wilson. Lili's husband who has a broken leg to start the whole thing off, and Matthew Fox as a guy who just likes killing people.

The group is really interesting because there doesn't actually seem to be any team cohesion. Normally in these kinds of films, you have a group of guys who are united in purpose and methodology. Yes, you might occasionally have the one guy who is a bit too aggressive and he comes to blows with the guy who is all about restraint, but also can't stand the gruff guy's demeanor and attitude. In this one, we have the sheriff and his deputy, and then we have the wounded guy on a quest for his wife and the dangerous guy who likes killing.

Honestly, the relationship between the sheriff and the deputy is pretty tenuous at best, anyway, so you basically have four guys united in purpose but not in style or personality. So, the tension of a rescue mission is heightened by the guys feeling out their comrades and bolstering their own manhood. Toss in those insane Indians, and you've got an interesting movie.

Direction was very good
Acting was very good
Dialogue was very good
Art Direction was excellent
Story was very good

Bottom Line: One of the best Westerns I've seen in a long time.

4.5/5

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