Bullet Points: Lone Hero
Westerns were a staple of the movie industry for decades. While they aren’t as common in today’s movie world, Hollywood continues to go the way of the Western from time to time. Sometimes directly (the 3:10 to Yuma remake of 2007) and sometimes in a more unique way, like in the movie I’ll be discussing in this edition of Bullet Points, Lone Hero.
- The Premise: A biker gang shows up and causes trouble, as biker gangs so often do, in a small tourist town in Montana. The big tourist attraction and the number one employer of the town is a Wild West show. Now the guys who play cowboys have to become real life cowboys in order to save the town. I thought it was a good twist and a modern update on some classic Western themes.
- Art Doesn’t Always Imitate Life: In the Wild West show, John Gray (Sean Patrick Flanery) plays one of the outlaws. Mark Metcalf plays the hero of the Wild West show, Marshall Harris. But it is John who ends up stepping up and going toe to toe with the biker gang led by cop killer, Bart (Lou Diamond Phillips) and it is Marshall Harris who turns out to be nothing but a weasel with no backbone at all.
- Black Bart: I enjoyed Lou Diamond Phillips’ portrayal of Bart. He was convincing in his role and made you want to see the ordinary guy, John Gray, do the extraordinary and take Bart and his band of bikers down. I also loved that the character collected the badges of the officers he’s killed, that’s like either on par or just a slight step below making a necklace out of human ears.
- Also Starring: Another highlight of Lone Hero is the character Gus, played by Robert Forster. Guys is old school and pretty much the closest thing to an actual cowboy the town has. He’s pretty handy with a gun and is there to offer wisdom and back up for John. Forster should be no stranger to action movie fans as he has appeared in numerous action films over the course of his career but I’ll always remember him as Abdul in The Delta Force… Another familiar face to me was that of Tyler Labine who plays John’s buddy Tim. I will always associate Labine from the highly underrated show Reaper, that The CW totally dropped the ball on some years ago.
It can’t be easy coming up with a new spin on a movie in the Western genre. I would not be shocked if there have been over 1,000 Westerns made over the years. But Lone Hero manages to put a modern twist on a classic Hollywood formula. The casting was well done, with Phillips and Forster standing out for me. Sean Patrick Flanery plays a likable hero and I’m not sure anyone can play pompous quite like Mark Metcalf.
I caught this one on Popcorn Flix and as I publish this, it is still available. You can watch on the Popcorn Flix app or right on their web site by clicking here!