"Open Range" - Movie Review
- Friday, August 15, 2003
Bad: Although the story plays like a biblical parable, unfortunately the language does not. Aside from what's classified these days as "mild language" and perhaps acceptable as "characteristic" for range-roaming cowboys, unfortunately the religious profanity seemed out of place when used by the very men who extol the virtue and honor we've come to admire. When will Hollywood writers and directors realize that the true "classics" of yesterday (the ones they are so eager to emulate) weren't filled with the religious profanity prevalent in movies today? And when will they realize that a good story and great dialogue don't need it? Aside from the obvious religious insult, from a professional standpoint a story that can stand on its own is only degraded by the lack of imagination it takes to write in a curse word in God's or Jesus' name. With as much passion and pride as Costner takes in his projects, you'd think he'd be more aware about pleasing the core of the audience that supports his movies. Adults, don't let the R rating scare you away from this movie. The language and gunfight violence are the reason it earned that rating. But honestly, I've seen and heard worse in some PG-13 movies. Early on we see the aftermath of violence that takes place off-camera (a man is killed, but nothing is graphically shown), a few men are knocked around by Boss and Charley and the gunfight is what you would imagine it would be – but nothing gratuitous.
Bottom Line: Despite my displeasure with the language, I enjoyed this movie for its positive aspects and strengths. Seeing men take a stand for what's right and wrong -- and proving that honor, integrity, truth, trust, loyalty, friendship and forgiving the past to embrace the future is what man's indomitable spirit is all about – was inspiring to me and will be to most audiences. It is truly rare these days to see a film that not only has a great message but contains great performances from actors like Costner and Duvall. If you're a fan of Westerns that mix a simple story with profound truths, you'll enjoy this movie.
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