Movie Review: Bone Tomahawk (2015)

bone_tomawhawk

Here’s a good question for you to think about: what’s the most peculiar mix of genres you have ever experienced in a movie? And what movie was that? I am asking because the movie I am reviewing today has a weird (to say the least) blend of genres. And I guess that’s one of the reasons I wanted to check it out.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Bone Tomahawk”.

This movie follows a very unlikely group of gunslingers; a sheriff (Kurt Russell), an old assistant deputy (Richard Jenkins), a crippled cowboy (Patrick Wilson) and a well-dressed gentleman (Matthew Fox) as they go out into the wild west to rescue a bunch of people who have been kidnapped by cave-dwelling, inbred, cannibalistic savages… yeah, you figure out how they came up with that. But do you see now what I meant by peculiar mix of genres? The movie decided to try to combine western with horror. And how did it turn out? Actually, it was quite good. The story is told in a very slow moving and suspenseful way which I honestly think worked to the movie’s advantage. Like I said, the movie moves a bit slower than most western so if you don’t have a good amount of patience, you might not enjoy it… but I did. Also, the suspense is really good in this movie.

The characters in this movie all feel very realistic and fleshed out thanks to some good writing and some damn fine performances. Kurt Russell gives a terrific performance in this movie as the sheriff who has sworn to go out and save the kidnapped people. I would even dare say that he gave one of the best performances of his career. Patrick Wilson plays like I said earlier, a crippled cowboy who is coming along because one of the people who got kidnapped was his wife. And Wilson was great in his role. Matthew Fox was a very well-dressed and well-educated man in this movie, but he was also a douchebag… and he did a great job. And Richard Jenkins as the elderly “assistant deputy” was pretty damn great in the movie too. Everybody was really good in the movie. What’s sad though is that both Jennifer Carpenter and Timothy Olyphant were rumored to have important roles in this movie… how awesome wouldn’t that have been?

The score for the movie was provided by Jeff Herriott and S. Craig Zahler (Sidenote: The director of the movie). And it’s pretty great. It’s slow-building, beautiful and tense, in other words perfect for the movie. It’s not huge and extravagant, but it never needed to be.

Seeing as this is a western and me not being able to change, I guess I have to talk about the shooty-bang-bang bits in it’s own separate segment… here we go. The shootouts are fine in the movie. There’s never really any conflict in the movie that requires two or more people to shoot at eachother. But when Kurt Russell or any of the other guys have to shoot at someone or something, it is pretty satisfying.

As previously stated, the movie was directed by S. Craig Zahler and as a little fun fact, this is his directorial debut. And does he make an impressive debut? Yeah, he does. This movie is very well directed and everything looks terrific. Sure, it’s not perfectly directed, but since this is a debut I guess I can kind of look past it.

This movie has been pretty well received even though it hasn’t been seen by too many people. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating (100% if you go by “Top Critics” only) and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“Bone Tomahawk” is an impressive directorial debut from S. Craig Zahler featuring a really good plot, great acting, great music, good shootouts and great directing. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Bone Tomahawk” is a 9,83/10. That means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Bone Tomahawk” is now reviewed.

Remember the question I asked at the beginning of this? Please leave an answer in the comments.

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