Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hit the road, Jack!

So after watching Ride In The Whirlwind (1965), I could only feel relief that Jack Nicholson had stuck to acting as his forte.

Nicholson tries his hand at writing (aswell as producing and starring as the lead) in this low budget Western, directed by Monte Hellman.

Despite a shoestring budget, the props, costumes and landscapes were quite fitting but the film took a turn for the worse with lazy directing, poor editing, jarring jumpcuts, lazy continuity and a stale two dimensional mise en scene.

Excessive filming in real time is both unimaginative and unecessary. Had they had spent less time showing every banal action in long, single takes, Nicholson may have been able to explore the psychology and backstories of the characters to make viewers actually care if they succeed to outrun a gang of bandits, while keeping the story rolling along with fervour.

Basically, any life threatening scenario is instantly eradicated of all it's suspense the moment the escapists decide to play a long, dull game of checkers.

The movie is unlike typical Westerns with no definitive villians and heroes, and a potential love interest that is as plain as cardboard, fizzling out into obscurity.

Had there have been more creativity and initiative, it could have become quite a powerful flick, resting on the themes of loneliness and loss. Sadly, this little number did nothing to make me feel "Much Obliged".

Save yourself the 85minutes and watch something starring Lee Van Cleef instead.


1 comment:

the coelacanth said...

Thanks for the heads up! I love Hellman, and have been halfheartedly trying to track this one down for awhile. Don't think I'll bother now...


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