Movie Review – Open Range

This is about as good as it getsThe Plot – In Open Range, Kevin Costner costars with Robert Duvall as two cowboys Charlie Waite & Boss Spearman livin’ off the land along with their companions Mose & Button. Driving cattle along the open range, they try to avoid towns as bunking with Mother Nature is the only place where they feel truly free.

Trouble comes to pass when Boss sends Mose into town for necessary supplies. One incident stirs up a chain of events that ultimately tests the friendship between Charlie & Boss and forces them to deal with their past as well as the town’s future.

“I want you to know that if I never see you again, I meant every word I ever said to you and I appreciate everything you said to me.” – Charlie Waite

The Review – And I mean every word I’m about to write. Screw Ebert & Roeper this a crappy one-dimensional film. To rate it “two thumbs up” must mean the bar was set with Gigli and Uptown Girl. I don’t enjoy people who talk-talk-talk while I’m watching a film, but when nearly 80% of the audience is heckling the dialogue I can guarantee you there’s a problem.

The last western I enjoyed was Unforgiven which was as gritty as they come. Open Range could be compared to Unforgiven if you change the plot a little, throw in poor, mistimed dialogue and add a few cardboard cutouts. The movie plot isn’t a mystery if you’ve seen the trailers. The pace of the film isn’t too slow, but if you’re like me your mind will be wandering as you’ll always be two steps ahead of the actors waiting for the next event. What’s funny is the trailers give you the impression that this film has depth. Take the quote above. From the trailer you assume that Kevin Costner & Annette Bening have known each other for some time or that there was some intimate exchange between their characters. People they barely spoke to each other! Everybody laughed at hearing that line. It was like seeing Jennifer Aniston having sex with Mark Walberg in Rockstar – just some funny stuff. There are other instances where the dialogue seems completely misplaced.

The film is not without some good points. The cinematography was good, especially the long range shots with the lush green colors and mountainous background. The gun fights and other action sequences were done well. The cuts flowed better than some films I’ve seen, I just wish this was a DVD rental so I could have skipped to each 10 minute sequence.

Unless you are a huge western fan or you just want to see how this movie compares to Waterworld I wouldn’t waste the money.

I should have joined Ryan and gone to see Freddy vs. Jason.

Grade: D+

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  • breaky August 17, 2003   Reply →

    well, let me think, what was the last movie with Kevin Costner that I enjoyed ….
    it’s definitely not waterworld or postman.

  • Jer August 18, 2003   Reply →

    Could it have been Perfect World? He died in that one. (snort) Sorry, not a big fan of Costner.
    Though, I honestly have to say that via previews, the movie looked interesting. The previews had a Tombstone quality to it and quite frankly, I enjoyed the hell out of that one.

    I guess i shoulda known. With Costner and all.

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