Review: Meek's Cutoff

You died of Dysentery.

Ok, so that doesn't really happen, but it's hard not to get a little nostalgic while watching this film. It reminded me so much of playing the computer game The Oregon Trail in the labs in grade school. You named all of your characters after your friends, then joked when one of them perished from a disease or failed to shoot any game. I wouldn't mind having a go at that game again.

Anyways.. Meek's Cutoff follows a group of familes that are navigating the Oregon Trail. Meek (Bruce Greenwood) is their guide, but after claiming to know a short cut he gets them lost and without water. Other members of the group include Emily, (Michelle Williams) Soloman, (Will Patton) Thomas, (Paul Dano) and Millie (Zoe Kazan) among others. Eventually they come across a Native American, someone they've always seen as the enemy. With a huge language barrier between them they attempt to have him help, but they are torn between listening to Meek and getting help from the enemy.

Meek's Cutoff gets off to an incredibly slow start. It reminded me a lot of There Will Be Blood with the shots of the plains and the almost 15 minutes before a character utters a word. I was actually expecting to find the same cinematographer, but that wasn't the case. When the settlers finally cross the Indian is when the film finally starts to pick up and become more interesting. The ending ultimately felt like a letdown, but I still wouldn't call it a bad film. The actors give good performances that are expected of them. Overall, the film gets off to a rough start and is very slow paced but does manage to regain interest in the second act. It's something to see if you are a fan of Williams, Dano and Kazan.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "I want him to owe me something." - Emily (Michelle Williams)


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