Westerns! According to Spielberg, Super Hero movies might soon go the way of the Western. Everywhere, and then rarely. K, thanks Spielberg.
All of this is irrelevant to Bone Tomahawk, which is a new western (definitely not a super hero movie). It was also independently released, you can tell, because it wasn’t even rated. Ooh, a Non Rated Western? That has to be intentional. There has to be some fucked up shit in there. You know, NC-17 rated stuff.
What will it be? Violence? Sex? The word “Cunt?” Who knows! Only the one with the best facial hair I imagine.
Fuck. I hope that is real and I hope all future movies let him keep it.
Set in the vague past, we need to talk about a small town out in the West with your standard group of people. We have Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Kurt Russell), whom has lived a good life of protectin’ people and growing facial hair. He has a “Back Up Deputy”, Chicory (Richard Jenkins, who I didn’t recognize at all until writing this review), and older fella who likes to talk. Like old people.
They got a rich guy, John Brooder (Matthew Fox) with no family, a fear of Indians, and a lover of the ladies in the town. Arthur O’Dwyer (Patrick Wilson) is also relatively wealthy, but he has a broken leg, and is being tended by mostly from his wife, Samantha (Lili Simmons), who is basically a nurse.
But when a drifter (David Arquette) comes to their town, their life begins to get a bit rougher. They lock him in the local jail, not sure if they should trust him. Next thing they know, the drifter, Samantha, and Nick (Evan Jonigkeit) are missing. Apparently they were taken by an angry Indian tribe, nicknamed the Troglodytes, because they live in caves. No other tribes will interact with them because of their cruelty and cannibalism.
Well, not in Hunt’s town. He is able to gather a crew of men (the four mentioned!) to get them back, despite injuries and oldness. That is the only thing they can do, lest a wife and a friend get eaten up. That is not a pleasant way to go.
Also with one scene from Sid Haig.
There are rag tag groups, and then there is this group. Rejectag.
Bone Tomahawk is like a slow fuse. A long, slow fuse. Bone Tomahawk is 132 minutes long and the type of film that is in desperate need of a better editor. I can imagine at least 20 minutes of material being cut out to make the story just a smoother experience for everyone involved. I am not talking 20 minutes of beautiful scenic shots, I just mean actual character conversations.
The first scene is great, tense, gets you the mood. Then it takes a long time before people get kidnapped and their journey begins. An incredibly long time. Enough time for me to forget about the intro completely.
The journey itself was fine. The four actors provided nice conversations and good back stories, but still I figured more things would happen outside of the one or two issues they encountered pre-Troglodytes.
The action was very brutal however. A lot a talk about how one death scene was the craziest of the year, and I think most everyone who watches it will feel uncomfortable throughout it. Straight up medieval torture. The other shootouts are not long and drawn out, just real people blasting in holes in people where no one can really be a hero.
Bone Tomahawk could have been an excellent western. It just needs to trim a lot of fat first to get ready for bikini season.