Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gunslinger's Revenge (1998)

Original title: Il Mio West

Director: Giovanni Veronesi

Writers: Vincenzo Pardini, Giovanni Veronesi, Leonardo Pieraccioni

Composer: Pino Donaggio

Starring: Leonardo Pieraccioni, Harvey Keitel, David Bowie, Sandrine Holt, Alessia Marcuzzi, Jim va der Woude, Yudii Mercredi, Michelle Gomez, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Stephen Jenn, Rosalind Knight

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Gunfighters Who Rocked The West.

Plot: The idealistic lifestyle of an old West farmer, his Indian wife and half-breed son, who narrates the tale, is disrupted when his grandfather, an old gunslinger, shows up on the farm. Although looking to retire, the family is not happy with his return, given his past lifestyle and mistreatment of his family. Things get worse when another gunfighter shows up and terrorizes the town, trying to force the father into a gun fight.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

OK, first the good.  It's nicely shot by Luis Alcaine, a long time collaborator with Pedro Almodovar.  The Italian locations work very well as a stand in for the American West.  There are no original characters in this film but that's perfectly OK.  David Bowie looks like he's having a ball playing an evil gunslinger, Jack Sikora, who's bent on killing the current top gun dog, Johnny Lowen (Harvey Keitel).  Keitel does a fine job I reckon but he's not giving his all.  Those two cats and the scenery are the reasons to watch it.  So I guess you could say the bad and the ugly of this picture is the acting outside of those two dudes.  It's horrible.  The opening narration by the kid was a bad start and it got worse once his father was introduced.  Pino Donaggio's score is hit and miss.  There's one quiet moment where he nailed the cue that felt right out of a 60s Spaghetti Western.  But that's only one track out of many that felt almost out of place among the tracks that didn't feel at home, as if perhaps three composers were given sections of the film to write for.  I guess I'm trying to say it was uneven.  The story is OK.  You can take an average plot and turn it into something special with the other elements of picture making but it helps to have a good one.  I'll have to keep looking.  The ending was a surprise and unexpected so that's a bonus.  There's not an awful lot going for this film but what is there is good.

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