director: scott cooper (crazy heart, black mass, out of the furnace
Starring: christian bale, rosamund pike, wes studi, and Q'orianka Kilcher
REVIEWER: lyall carter
In 1892, a legendary Army Captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory.
Its not very often that a good ol' Western comes out. And Hostiles is a pretty good one.
In 1892, legendary Army Capt. Joseph Blocker reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family back to their tribal land. Embarking on a harrowing and perilous journey from Fort Berringer, N.M., to the grasslands of Montana, they soon encounter a young widow whose family was killed on the plains. The travellers must now band together to survive a punishing landscape that's crawling with hostile Comanches and vicious outliers.
Now Hostiles isn't some rootin', tootin', and shootin' Western. Sure, its got some exciting action set pieces with guns blazing but theres so much more to this story. Essentially Hostiles is about Capt. Blocker facing the consequences of his past and the man he has become.
The film also explores the horrendous evil done in the name of white colonialism and exposing the shame and rampant greed of it.
The story clips along at a reasonable pace but some who are after a more action piece may find a bit slow. Which is kind of the slight problem that Hostiles has. There are moments where it feels like it drags ever so slightly but its ultimately redeemed by Bale's commanding performance as Capt. Blocker and the always brilliant Rosamund Pike as Rosaline Quaid.
Hostiles is a Western that gives you your action and something to think about as well.