A retired gunslinger John Henry Clayton (Kiefer Sutherland) returns back to his home town after being away for 10 years (part of his time was spent in the war and part of it was spent drifting around). He returns to make amends with his father but also learns that his mother has died recently. John is determined to turn his back on his old ways, but when he learns that the townsfolk are being bullied and killed by a ruthless gang of land-grabbers it seems that John may have to come out of retirement to save the town.
The big draw about this film is seeing the Sutherlands appearing on screen together and to be fair to both men they both give committed and excellent performances, but aside from that, a couple of other good performances and a reasonably tense and well-executed finale I'm struggling to find much else to praise about this film to be honest...
Slow-burn seems to be the approach that Cassar has adopted here and in the early stages this is OK, but there is a fine line between something being slow-burning and boring and unfortunately, for the most part, Forsaken falls into the latter camp. The fraught relationship between father and son was interesting at first, but the threads connecting the story lines don't seem to add up to a great deal (despite the emotional weight that they seem to carry). The villains of the piece here aren't particularly intimidating and many of them seem more like ridiculous caricatures (with the exception of Wincott whose understated performance is actually pretty good). All these things combined create a vacuum in the middle of the picture which essentially sucks the life out of the film - I could have also done without the sub-plot involving Demi Moore's character as John's old flame which felt unnecessary and again dragged the picture down somewhat.
Narratively, the film is also slightly problematic in the way that a lot of the land-grabbers don't seem to fear John in spite of his reputation. It also doesn't make sense that when they do get the better of him that they allow him to live??? Why would you allow the one man capable of stopping you to live?? Of course, it's to set up the inevitable showdown and to allow John to save the day, but you would think that if the land-grabbers had any brains that they would have eliminated the threat at an early stage - him being retired could have been a bluff for all they know.
There is a fairly well-executed final shootout which almost makes up for the dreary and lifeless hour and a bit that preceded it, but on the whole I found Forsaken to be drawn-out, mawkish, overly-sentimental and worst of all unexciting. All in all it has some selling points and isn't all bad, but there was an awful lot of it that I found dull and uninteresting and it made for a very long 90 minutes.
Action / Drama / Western
Action / Drama / Western
John Henry returns to his hometown in hopes of repairing his relationship with his estranged father, but a local gang is terrorizing the town. John Henry is the only one who can stop them, however he has abandoned both his gun and reputation as a fearless quick-draw killer.
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March 24, 2016 at 07:03 PM