Rating : 5/10
Release Date : 5th July, 2013
Time : 149 minutes
Director : Gore Verbinski; Writers : Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Justin Haythe; Music : Hans Zimmer
Starring : Johnny Depp, Arnie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale
Total Hindi film. There are heroes. Villains. Commanche Indian mumbo-jumbo. A lady love. Treasure. Many opportunities for the heroes to kill the villains early in the film. And vice versa. But they refute all such occasions just so we can get a grand, spectacular climax.
Arnie is a lawman, returning home to the Wild West after a gap of nine years. His sweetheart, Ruth has married his brother, James Dale, a brave ranger (like their father before them). However, captured notorious bandit, Fichtner, is on the same train, being brought back to hang, but has other ideas. Johnny Depp, an Indian with some rather eccentric habits (least of which is a dead raven on top of his head), and a tragic, gory past, is also seeking revenge against Fichtner. And soon its Arnie and Depp against Fichtner and his cohorts.
The entire backdrop is that of an uneasy truce between the Red Indians and the white settlers. There are also railroads being built, trying to connect America from coast to coast, with Tom Wilkinson, an employee of the railroad company, recognizing what a game changer this could be. There are quite a few twists, the pace of the film never flags, the cinematography and the panorama is breathtaking and Arnie and Depp share some good chemistry as the lead pair.
What lets the film down is its over-reliance on Depp’s deadpan quirkiness and the whole Indian spirituality / ‘black magic’ which aids our duo whenever the chips are down. The white horse, which climbs roofs, casually rests while balancing precariously on the branch of a tree and eats scorpions. The carnivorous rabbits. Depp’s ability to mysteriously escape from jail. And several other such moments.
At the end of the day, this seems to be yet another reprisal of Depp in his Capt Jack Sparrow avatar. Everyone else, Arnie included, just play around that. It’s a decent film, a definite one time watch but it ignores several chances of going deeper than that