- 1 hr 55 min
Appaloosa, based off the popular Western novel by Robert B. Parker of the same name, is a faithful recreation. Also, in a world where the genre seems to be increasingly irrelevant, a solid Western movie with a cast that has names like Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons. While it may not have won a great deal of critical acclaim, like other adaptations based off of Parker's work, it does have a solid fan base. The film stars Everett Hitch, a shotgun-toting former soldier and graduate of West Point academy played by Mortensen, and Virgil Cole, a fast draw gunman played by Ed Harris, who specialize in bringing law to lawless places. They come to the town of Appaloosa, New Mexico which is being run over roughshod by Randall Bragg, played by Jeremy Irons. Bragg and his men do as they please, to the point that the former Marshall and all his deputies were killed when they tried to arrest some of Bragg's gang. The town hires Cole and Hitch, hoping they'll be able to rein in the gang of toughs. As a film, Appaloosa depicts a West that's very different from the "good guys in white hats" Westerns that many viewers may have as a pre-conceived notion. Hitch and Cole are complicated men, and they have no illusions that they are hired because they're willing to kill when the law is broken. There are a lot of gray areas about what they do and how they do it, but the duo remains stoic. When Allie French, played by Renee Zellweger, is thrown into the mix though, things get even more convoluted. A woman that wants to be with the toughest man around, Cole finds that he has to compete not only for her affections, but to keep the town from coming apart at the seams. This becomes more difficult when Bragg fights dirty, and buys himself into legitimate authority in the town. The movie ends with Hitch doing what Cole can't bring himself to do; break the law by killing Bragg.