Writer: Ti West (Screenplay)
Starring: Ethan Hawke, John Travolta, Taissa Farmiga, James Ransone, Karen Gillan, Toby Huss
Plot: A mysterious stranger and a random act of violence drag a town of misfits and nitwits into the bloody crosshairs of revenge.
Tagline – Keep Your Finger on the Trigger
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: John Wick the Western
Story: In a Valley of Violence starts when lone drifter Paul (Hawke) rides into a remote town with his trusty dog Abby, trying to keep to himself he gets the town drunk Gilly (Ransone) gets involved in a fight, which Paul wins with one punch. This grabs the attention of the Marshal (Travolta) and father of Gilly, who gives him a chance to walk away no questions asked, no more trouble.
When Gilly and his men comes for Paul in the dead of night, they leave him with nothing and now he swears to break his promise of no more killing, one last time.
Thoughts on In a Valley of Violence
Characters – Paul is the former soldier, he has lost everything while in battle and is heading to Mexico with his horse and dog. When this is taken from him, this former soldier will go on to show his skills by tracking down the men in an act of revenge. Marshal is trying to keep the peace in the town even after his son’s actions, he gets caught in the middle of follow the law and protecting his son. Mary-Anne is one of two sisters in this town, she is one of the few people in town that is vocal of her dislike to Gilly and offers Paul a reminder of his own daughter.
Performances – Ethan Hawke is wonderful in this leading role, he gives us a performance we can believe as the lone drifter with skills that can leave any town running red. John Travolta is strong in his scenes which are seem rare but are a major part of the film. Taissa Farmiga is good even if her character doesn’t get enough to do out of the typical girl in the west.
Story – The story does bottle down to a simple revenge movie, think John Wick the western and you have the story set up. We have the lone trained killer that takes out the people that have don him wrong. This is a simple and enjoyable style of storytelling, the pace makes the film fly by and will leave you wanting more.
Action/Crime/Western – The gun slinging action is all good and fits the western style the film is taking on, we get a simple crime story which works for the film.
Settings – The film takes place in just one singular location in this remote town in the wild west which keeps things contained for the story.
Special Effects – The effects are used with the kills and are done nicely without being over the top.
Final Thoughts – This is a good, blood filled action western film that is well worth watching, this is a good watch and has a strong performance from Hawke.
Overall: Good addition to the western genre.