Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bone Tomahawk: "Say goodbye to my wife. I'll say hello to yours."

Bone Tomahawk sets out to tell a seemingly simple story, a man's wife is kidnapped by Indians and thus the sheriff, along with his back-up deputy, the local dandy and the woman's husband ride out to rescue her.  It's a classic western plot, perhaps most famously evidenced in The Searchers, but in this story our heroes get more than they bargained for.  I won't reveal the twist, but things veer into territory heretofore untouched in the western genre.

This is the directorial debut of novelist S. Craig Zahler.  Directing from his own screenplay, Zahler demonstrates an incredible ear for authentic dialogue and lets the characters dictate the pace, allowing the audience to be fully invested in them by the time we reach the climax. The film is composed of a fantastic ensemble: Kurt Russell as the no nonsense sheriff with a commanding presence and a powerfully large mustache, Richard Jenkins as Chicory, the absent-minded back-up deputy, Patrick Wilson as Arthur O'Dwyer, cowboy and husband of the kidnapped Mrs. O'Dwyer played by Lilli Simmons and Matthew Fox as John Brooder, the smartly dressed gunfighter, in a standout performance unlike anything we've seen from him before.

I don't want to give anything else away.  I will only say go see this film immediately.