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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "Hostiles"

There has been a lot of debate about the treatment of the Native Americans in recent decades. Whenever you watch an old western movie or documentary, I find the topic of the relationship with the early settlers very interesting. Growing up in “Big Sky Country,” my family and I often passed the site where the Battle of Little Big Horn occurred right off what is now Interstate 90, and every time, I always looked up and thought of the event.

“Hostiles” is the new film directed by Scott Cooper (Black Mass, Crazy Heart) and stars Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, American Hustle), Wes Studi (Heat, Mystery Men), Scott Shepherd (Jason Bourne, Bridge of Spies), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Jack Reacher), Ben Foster (The Messenger, Alpha Dog), Stephen Lang (Tombstone, Avatar), Adam Beach (Joe Dirt, Windtalkers), and Rory Cochrane (Argo, Dazed and Confused). Set in 1892, Army Captain Joseph J. Blocker (Bale) who would capture Native Americans and has no love for them. He is about to retire and before he does is ordered to escort a Cheyenne Chief named Yellow Hawk (Studi) and his family back to the Cheyenne territory in Wyoming for Yellow Hawk to live out his final days. Blocker does not want to do it, but he is told by his boss (Lang) that he will lose his pension if doesn’t as it is an order from the President of the United States.

This film really gives that old west feel with its camera style and the sets and locations, showing how rough it was living in the time period. The cast does a good job overall with Bale showing the right emotions in his role of a man who evolves over the mission. Pike and Studi also do a very good job, but nothing that really “wow”ed me per se.

When it comes to the plot, I was interested even before seeing this film, but my issue is the length. The plot gets a little twisted sometimes and really dragged. It has a good premise overall, but it is like a car that speeds up at times and then coasts below the speed limit with an ending ending was OK for me but was just missing something. I will still recommend this film, but also be warned that there are some very graphically violent scenes. I would recommend this film as second-run theater showing.

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