When Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch arrive in Appaloosa, they find a town suffering at the hands of a rancher named Randall Bragg that means to own everything in it, and who has already left the city Marshall and one of his deputies dead. Cole and Hitch are used to cleaning up after scavengers, but this one raises the stakes by playing not by the rules, but with emotion. Cole and Hitch are hired to save the town from Bragg, but a young attractive widow arrives to complicate matters. Based on the novel by Robert B. Parker (creator of ‘’Spencer for Hire’’), this western delivers! —paradisofilms.nl
Bearing sharp, blue-eyed features and the outward demeanor of an everyday Joe, Ed Harris possesses a quiet, charismatic strength and intensity capable of electrifying the screen. During the course of his lengthy career, he has proven his talent repeatedly in roles both big and small, portraying characters both villainous and sympathetic. Born Edward Allen Harris in Tenafly, NJ, on November 28, 1950, Harris was an athlete in high school and went on to spend two years playing football at Columbia University. His interest in acting developed after he transferred to the University of Oklahoma, where he studied acting and gained experience in summer stock. Harris next attended the California Institute of the Arts, graduating with a Fine Arts degree. He went on to find steady work in the West Coast theatrical world before moving to New York. In 1983, he debuted off-Broadway in Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love in a part especially written for him. His performance won him an Obie for Best Actor… read more
Though the psychology of this film is quite modern in the end, it plays out like traditional Western and stays loyal to its influences. Ed Harris does a better job directing than starring, and this allows Viggo to steal the show. The gunplay was reserved, but effective - and realistic. The production design was fantastic as well. Enjoyable, although it makes nods to many classics, it is not one itself.
It's ironic that Appaloosa's thematic focus on a decling set of heroes, with Harris and Mortsen's characters, juxtaposed with a dissatisfied love interest, in Zellweger, have parallels to the now typical audience response to westerns. People can be darn fickle about their movies, even here on MUBI. Appaloosa respects a dying breed of film making at it's finest. Irrespective of what's been said, I like this picture.
Very disappointing for a modern Western, with intriguing character arcs that never really go anywhere, inexplicable plot developments, weak camerawork and a terrible sound mix.