Ed Harris directed, starred, wrote and co-produced this film. Clearly he put a lot of hours and hard work into this. He casted talented leads like his ‘A History of Violence’ co star Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises, Lord of the Rings) Renee Zellweger (Chicago, Cold Mountain) and Jeremy Irons (Earagon, Lolita). The acting is top notch, but a weak script and lack of climax makes what would be a stellar movie fall a little short.
Appaloosa begins with two men, Virgil Cole (Harris) and Everett Hitch (Mortensen) who have been asked to police a small town called “Appaloosa” that has been terrorized by a rancher, Braggs (Irons). Cole is obviously the head man, with Hitch being the more intelligent sidekick that carries around an 8mm rifle throughout the entire film. They re-write the laws and take control of the town, while Cole falls for a young lady named, Ally (Zelweger). They arrest Braggs and prepare to take him to be hanged only to have Bragg’s men kidnap Ally and demand that they turn Braggs free. They work together to recapture Braggs, deal with Ally’s wondering eye (among other things) and restore the town they have promised to protect.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Mortensen, but never a fan of westerns. He was my main reason for seeing this film, and while I thought he was wonderful I left the theatre wondering what exactly was the point of the film I just saw. The lack of character development is one thing, but the script lacks a viable climax. It’s almost as if it comes and goes to quickly. The director establishes a small back story for Cole and Hitch but then goes nowhere with it. At the end of the film we’re wondering what is going on inside our lead character’s mind, but we have not been told enough about him to answer those questions. Harris is a tremendous actor, but the screenplay of this script is lacking.
Recommended: Only if you are die hard fans of the actors.
Memorable Quote: Ally: Why, I’m so embarrassed that you saw me in the nude - Everret: No miss Ally, it was my pleasure! Viggo Mortensen and Renee Zellweger