Director: Potsy Ponciroli
Writer: Potsy Ponciroli (Screenplay)
Starring: Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins, Stephen Dorff, Max Arciniega, Brad Carter
Plot: An action western about a farmer who takes in an injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse comes for the money, he must decide who to trust. Defending a siege, he reveals a gunslinging talent calling his true identity into question.
Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Old Henry starts when farmer Henry (Nelson) gets an unlikely visit from an injured man with a satchel of cash, Henry knows nothing good can come from this and looks to try and keep his son Wyatt (Lewis) safe.
When the man Curry (Haze) wakes up, he warns of the men searching for him, led by Ketchum (Dorff) who have come across multiply counties in search for Curry, leading to stand off between three sides.
Thoughts on Old Henry
Characters & Performances – Henry is the mild-mannered farmer who has lived a quiet life for years away from any confliction, raising his boy away from gunfire. When he clashes with Ketchum, he finds himself needing to dive into a past life, when it comes to defending his home and son. Tim Blake Nelson plays this character wonderfully, filled with all the confidence in his characters presence in every moment, even against the odds. With Henry being such a captivating character, Ketchum the leader of the outlaw gang searching for the man, doesn’t feel like such a threat, despite having the numbers, he feels like he is hoping to scare people, rather than having that evil menace about him. Stephen Dorff tries to make this an interesting villain, but he doesn’t get to give us the type of figure we need for this film. Curry is the stranger Henry takes in to help recover, he knows the danger coming his way and tries to warn Henry and his son. Scott Haze does everything he needs to with this role, sadly much like Ketchum the character feels list in the bigger shuffle of what is truly going on. Most of the characters we meet in the film do feel overshadowed by Tim Blake Nelson and his Henry performance.
Story – The story here follows a farmer living a quiet life away from everyone with his son, when they get an unwelcome visitor and a group of outlaws hunting him down, with the farmer needing to look into a past life to make sure his son stays safe. This is a story that will start with a slow build, one that will make us wait for the big sequence which will leave us in shock with what the story has kept hidden for so long. With how most of the story plays out, it is everything we would have seen before, with the innocent figure getting caught in the middle of a battle between criminals, which is fine because when it comes to the final outcome, the story rewards the patience of waiting.
Themes – Old Henry is a western that keeps the action to the minimal, waiting for the explosive ending to unleash the biggest sequences. The locations are used well, with most of the film being set on the land of Henry, a small farm away from the main world, showing us that someone is trying to live a peaceful life.
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Final Thoughts – Old Henry is a captivating western, one keeping you wanting more and leaving you shocked by the end.