An elderly Sheriff, along with his deputy, acquire a posse to hunt down and rescue their own town’s people after a group of cannibalistic “Troglodytes” cause chaos in Bright Hope and capture innocent citizens along the way. One of those captured was the wife of a local rancher, who consequently joins the gang on the hunt for revenge, despite a heavily injured leg. Enlisting with the trio is also an experienced, and equally as confident, gunslinger who felt partially responsible for the events that took place in the town. An at times entertaining thrill ride that takes a different approach to modern day westerns.
Director: S. Craig Zahler
Writers: S. Craig Zahler
Starring: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox
It’s fair to say that Bone Tomahawk is something of a unique Western, in regard to the nature of the movie. The brutality captured is something that not many films of this kind manage to portray, with the filmmakers subjecting the viewer to a large amount of graphic, gory and traumatic scenes throughout. There’s even one specific scene, involving the captured citizens and the Troglodytes themselves, that this movie is explicitly known for, which made me look away in anguish at the time and probably would again if I had to watch it for a second time.
Putting the brutality and violence to one side, it has to be said that the story and plot in general were really easy to comprehend and straight forward to follow – a large portion of the opening part of the movie was even dedicated to character development along with setting the scene of the rescue operation that the posse were about to undertake. The filmmakers also did a great job in highlighting and demonstrating to the viewer the potentially deadly consequences that the men on this mission were about to be faced with.
Another of the strengths was the fact that the flick managed to successfully create an eerie suspense, especially later on in the film where the movie really broke into its stride and began showcasing a large amount of cannibalistic violence. With that being said however, one of the things I’d have to flag up as a potential negative would have to be the large section of the film dedicated to journey of the men, where very little actually happened. The posse spent a large chunk of screen time trekking through American land while trying to find the Troglodytes camp and the filmmakers really struggled when it came to creating substance here.
In terms of the cast and their performances, it’s most definitely worth highlighting the fact that this movie had an extremely vast and notable cast. Kurt Russell took up the role of the Sheriff responsible for leading the group of men, while Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox appeared as Arthur and Brooder respectively. Not everybody however, excelled when it came to their acting performance – Lili Simmons portrayed Samantha, one of the town’s people captured originally, and really didn’t come across as convincing at all, especially when taking into consideration the alarming and potentially deadly situation she found herself in.
At times, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether or not this was a low-budget and less impactful Quentin Tarantino flick, but overall, it was a pretty entertaining film that took a different spin on the Western genre. Most certainly worth the watch.
“I’m far too vain to ever live as a cripple.”Brooder – Bone Tomahawk