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Forsaken review

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R. 90 min



Do you remember Kurt Russell starring in BONE TOMAHAWK? That seems to be a new phenomenon in movie making with the advances and technology and the ability to shoot digitally reasonably cheaply. One of the best genres for this is the Western because there's almost no money in building a fantastic set, the woods, the desert or the prairie is just fine. On top of that if you are a filmmaker on a budget that leaves you a few bucks left over to entice some upscale B list actors with a lot of audience appeal. If you can scrape up a good script you're in business.


FORSAKEN is just one of those films starring a duo of my favorite actors, Kiefer and Donald Sutherland playing, amazingly enough, a wild west father and son.


At the moment its in very limited release but if you have time to drive to Philadelphia or New York you can probably catch it on the big screen. Myself, I sported Amazon Instant Video a few bucks and watched it here on the big screen in my own cave.


Frankly I'm surprised this one didn't make it into wider distribution. Most of the time this type of budget film will show all sorts signs that it was slapped together on the cheap, but not here.


The first thing I noticed is that the scenery is bright clear and beautiful, which isn't always the case. It appears to have been shot in Canada by the way.


As far as the plot allow me to say that big difference between tradition and cliche is the quality production. There is absolutely nothing here that we haven't seen again and again it classic Westerns, and I think that's what makes them classic.


Let me lay out a few plot devices and see if you recognize them.


After experiencing a catharsis in his life, a tough as nails gun man (Kiefer Sutherland) lays down his shooting irons and returns home to live a peaceful life, but that tranquility will soon be threatened by forces beyond his control.


He finds love is life (Demi Moore) has finally given up hope of his return is now married to another man.


A father (Donald Sutherland)still grieving the loss of his wife and other son, must find a way to reconcile the grievances that have kept him and his surviving boy estranged for all those years.


A wealthy and unscrupulous businessman wants to acquire all the land from honest and hard working citizens and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, which includes bribery, intimidation and even murder.


His right hand man is a famous gunslinger (Brian Cox) brought in to oversee the task with the help of a crew of very nasty but violent and unreliable henchmen.


I will let you guess whether or not Kiefer Sutherland is pushed beyond his limits and the entire affair ends in the discharging of firearms.


But thanks to good acting in an uncluttered script that moves right along I enjoyed every step of the journey. The bad guys are extremely bad and the anti-hero is more hero man anti.


And just when I was about to dismiss FORSAKEN as an enjoyable but unimaginative little tale the climax itself takes just enough of a left turn to bring a smile to the face of any fans of the American Western.



I'm a little worried that the generic title won't stick in the mines of the readers, since it has little to do with the film itself. But if you just hold on to your copy of the Voice until you get to the theater, or fire up the Amazon Instant Video, you'll be fine.







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