Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Overlooked Movies -- In a Valley of Violence

In a Valley of Violence is an imitation spaghetti western from 2016.  The opening credits might as well have been filmed in 1968, and the music will remind you of that era as well.  

A man named Paul (Ethan Hawke) is the enigmatic "hero," who drifts into the isolated town of Denton, along with his dog, Abby.   A group of bullies, led by Gilly (James Ransome), the son of the town marshal (John Travolta) get on his case, and Gilly is determined to fight him.  One punch is all it takes Paul to humiliate Gilly, who later gets revenge [BIG SPOILER] by killing Paul's dog, in a scene I found hard to take [END OF BIG SPOILER], and believing that he and his buddies have killed Paul. They haven't, and Paul is going to get his own revenge, by killing Gilly and his pals. 

You already know how this one will play out.  There's the added attraction of Travolta trying to persuade Paul not to kill everybody, and of the young woman, Mary-Anne (Taissa Farmiga) who's attracted to Paul.

The movie's short and moves in a straight line from beginning to end.  It has some amusing moments and at times verges on an affectionate parody of spaghetti westerns.   My favorite in this area remains The Quick and the Dead, but this one was okay.  Except for the one scene I mentioned above.  Check it out if you have an interest in current westerns, of which there aren't many.  And if you can take scenes like the one mentioned in the spoiler above.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

The plot also sounds like a ripoff of the first JOHN WICK movie, down to (SPOILER) killing his dog.(END SPOILER)

Fred Blosser said...

I avoid any movie with Travolta as I do any movie with Cruise, and Hawke leaves me cold. I'll pass.