There are always moments when I bring up Westworld and someone responds “I don’t like Westerns.” And often, I retort “well it’s more of a Sci-Fi than it is a Western.” But, as someone who also never liked Westerns, I think I need a new retort. Maybe I watched the wrong kind.
In a Valley of Violence is the right kind. I saw this at a small festival for the sole reason that I trust Ethan Hawke. Predestination had played the year before at the same fest and I wanted more of that. I was totally blown away by how much fun Valley was and was revitalized in a desire to watch some cowboys. The cast acts the hell out of this off beat script and it results in a real delight. It has all the ‘dog protectiness’ of John Wick and the “this dude made a western?” of The Quick and the Dead.
This is usually where I put the short synopsis to prime you for the flick, but it honestly would be really difficult to narrow this down to a few sentences. In the tradition of a Western, rising actions are numerous. The mysterious Paul stumbles across a town en route to Mexico where they run into this priest, and there are these girls, and a cop, and something about being an army deserter, I don’t know. Just trust this one.
Great if you liked: No Country for Old Men, John Wick, The Quick and the Dead, There will be Blood, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Gangs of New York