Critics appraising a reissued ”masterpiece” sometimes review the reputation instead of the film, and Sam Peckinpah’s genre-bending Western The Wild Bunch certainly inspires such temptation. Restored to its original 145 minutes, this ultraviolent chronicle of aging outlaws planning one last haul made the use of slo-mo violence de rigueur for a generation of filmmakers. It seemed more powerful in theaters during the Vietnam era — as part of pop culture’s fashionable nihilism — than it now does on small screens, where image reduction due to letterboxing renders some sequences incomprehensible. Ultimately, though, Peckinpah’s sure directorial hand, solid scripting, and distinguished cast make The Wild Bunch engrossing entertainment. B+
Genre: Western; Starring: Ernest Borgnine, William Holden, Ben Johnson, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates, Robert Ryan, Jaime Sanchez; Director: Sam Peckinpah; Runtime (in minutes): 134; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Warner Bros.
Posted August 18 1995 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Oscars 2016: Michael B. Jordan, Daisy Ridley, Cate Blanchett join presenters
- Miramax, Roadside in talks to distribute Obama romance movie 'Southside With You'
- Kanye West does not even pretend to enjoy being in 'SNL' promos
- Hannibal Buress joins Dwayne Johnson in 'Baywatch'
- 'The X-Files': Mulder and Scully meet their doppelgängers in this exclusive clip
- Andrew Dice Clay talks 'Vinyl': 'Record company guys were out of their f---ing minds!'
- 'Dawson's Creek' revival not likely, says Katie Holmes