Bone Tomahawk — 7/10

BONE TOMAHAWK (2015, S. Craig Zahler)

Goes from understated elegance to what-the-fuck exploitation in a matter of seconds, and that didn’t bother me. Characters are beautifully drawn both by Zahler’s sharp dialogue and by the terrific performances from Russell, Fox, and Jenkins especially (who is pretty much unrecognizable). Wilson’s is a little thin but it doesn’t hurt the film. A genre mashup that doesn’t even care that it is one, if that makes sense. These are just some things that happen and don’t happen, and the last shot is perfectly unpretentious.

I’m sold on Zahler as a writer (the sheriff has an absolute scorcher of a heroic/tragic one-liner) but not yet as a visual stylist. At times it was hard to tell what was going on and not on purpose. But there are a few flashes of greatness — like a quick cut to a massive wide shot when Russell says “but this is where we are,” underscoring the literal interpretation of a metaphorical line reading. Zahler has a mean streak that extends beyond his bursts of outrageous gore, into a philosophical realm.

LOL @ Sean Young popping up for a line or two and getting third billing.


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