Forsaken DVD review

F3John Henry Clayton (Sutherland JR) arrives at the family home after the death of his mother.  Rev Clayton (Sutherland SNR) is estranged from his son and also morning the loss of his wife. He has just buried her and has not seen the son for sometime. He also has only one son after the death of his brother. To add to this woe, the local town is about to become the newest town on the railway link into the east. This has meant nasty profiteers like John McCurdy (Brian Cox) are eyeing up the property around the town and the farmers that are stopping this purchasing from going on. McCurdy has sent his men to deal with this problem using force and violence. Blood has been spilled and now the guns are out and the town is on edge for the next step as the railway is closing in.

F2A copy and paste script can be the start of something bigger and better. It can be the blueprint for the conventions and genre tropes that we can expect but it can also allow actors, directors and writers the chance at something else. Forsaken is in some respect a little bit of this and a lot of what you expect. It has great compositions of nature, making it feel like it is a big screen epic of the Ford family. Then it has the sets and constructed visuals that are very good. The action scenes show us that the director worked in and on action TV. When however we go back to the script, performances and body of the film we are in more familiar terrain. A terrain of westerns from past mythology and past film lore.

FHead Sutherland Jnr is the grisliness and grim gunman and he has studied both Eastwood and his fathers acting to gauge this. He is too hard and gives us a deader presence than is needed.  Sutherland Snr is like the strong, studied expert that you want to see more of and don’t quite get enough. He acts with urgency and delivery that is skilled and subtle. The side actors like Cox are literally in it as fodder for the death and convention types. Even Moore gives us a plain performance that is sad and dreary. She is a very good actress that is given little to work with. This pulls the wind out of the sails of the film. It is not that the film is bad or poorly made it is just dull and so seen before that you care little at the end. It is weak and watery enough to make you sit and watch but it should have gone to TV and stayed there. It should have been ambitious and above it, it shouldn’t have been made…

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