Tom Selleck may have had hits with the two Three Men comedies, but Quigley Down Under, overlooked in theaters, is much more worthwhile. It’s an engaging, entertaining Australian Western that has more heart than brains and enough action to keep you from minding too much. The star brings his bemused TV twinkle to the Shane-like title role, a Yank sharpshooter imported to the outback by a villainous rancher (Die Hard’s Alan Rickman). Quigley balks when he discovers he’s been hired to shoot aborigines instead of dingos, a reaction that sets him against Rickman’s goons with only a half-crazy hooker (sex, lies, and videotape’s Laura San Giacomo) and the mystical powers of the aborigines on his side.
The outcome won’t surprise anybody, but the journey there may, thanks to a solid script and full-bodied acting by the three leads. And the Australian setting, as pictured by director Simon Wincer (TV’s Lonesome Dove), is like a breathtakingly mutated Monument Valley. Unfortunately, a lot of Quigley Down Under’s wide-screen splendor is lost on the small screen. This is a classic example of the type of movie you wait to see on tape, but the cinematography is so impressive you’ll regret having held out. B