This 1880s tale of a spirited single gal (Blanchett) who’s determined to save her abducted daughter (Wood) with the help of her estranged father (Jones) is just a standard parental-rescue story dressed up in dusty Old West wear. The stellar cast handles the dull material ably, and director Ron Howard incorporated some PC details (Native Americans and white men are among the kidnappers) and witch-doctory mysticism in an effort to spruce up the storytelling. But he got so wrapped up in making a Western with modern sensibilities that he forgot to give it any originality. EXTRAS Two hours of blandness don’t whet the appetite for 11 deleted scenes and three alternate endings, but we’ll grant points for thoroughness. And Howard and partner Brian Grazer’s comments are engaging, even if the film wasn’t their most gripping work.
Genre: Western, Drama; Starring: Cate Blanchett, Tommy Lee Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Val Kilmer, Evan Rachel Wood; Director: Ron Howard; Author: Akiva Goldsman, Kenneth Kaufman; Release Date Wide: 11/19/2003; Runtime (in minutes): 130; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Posted March 5 2004 — 12:00 AM EST
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