Writer: Brad Mirman, Tari (Screenplay)
Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Michael Wincott, Brian Cox, Chris Ippolito
Plot: In 1872, an embittered gunslinger named John Henry Clayton attempts to make amends with his estranged father Reverend Samuel Clayton while their community is besieged by ruthless land-grabbers.
Tagline – Haunted by his past, searching for peace.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Slow Westerner
Story: Forsaken starts when John Henry (Kiefer Sutherland) returns to his family town where his father Reverend Samuel (Donald Sutherland) has a strained relationship due to him not returning to help his mother on her deathbed.
With the Clayton’s discussion their own beliefs in God, James McCurdy (Cox) has taken over the town and starting to expand his empire with Dave Turner (Wincott) doing his dirty work, John refuses to go down without a fight and decides to challenge the rule of the town.
Thoughts on Forsaken
Characters – John Henry Clayton left his town for war, he never returned until his mother died, he has become distant from his father not believing in God, the town does fear his actions in the past, which has made him the threat to the gang controlling the town and when things become personal, he becomes the man people need to fear. Reverend Samuel Clayton is respected in the town which he has made a place believing in God, he doesn’t like his son returning, but learns that he hasn’t for a good reason. James McCurdy is the man running the town, he lets his men kill to get the property he wants. Dave Turner is one of the men that works for James, one that does play by honour over many of the shot first men in the gang.
Performances – Kiefer Sutherland in the leading role is fine, though his mumbling doesn’t help us care enough his character, opposite his father Donald who isn’t the most entertaining either. Michael Wincott was the most interesting character because he seems to get some development and want to see more from him. Brian Cox feels completely wasted in his role that gives him nothing.
Story – The story follows a man returning home with a reputation while he needs to learn how to make a stand to protect his town which has become a problem overrun by a gang of outlaws. This does follow the generic idea of a returning man helping clean up his town without offer anything new, it keeps us seeing how the action are building up to the problems that will be facing before the final showdown. The pacing does become slow which does make things unfold at a snail’s pace which just doesn’t keep our attention for long enough.
Action/Western – The action does feel flat, we just don’t get enough of it to make us believe it is action heavy movie, though the mood makes us feel like the western we are entering.
Settings – The film does make us feel like we are the small town which has a community feeling about it.
Final Thoughts – This is a slow paced action western movie that just never gets going and ends up feeling the pace taking age to get through.
Overall: Slow and bland.