This film is another uberclassic. Another one of those ‘greatest movies of all time’ type films. I have a confession to make… I pretty much hate it.
I know, I am in the minority, which is odd, because I have seen it twice, with three different people, and all of us hated it. I get that the editing for the action scenes is a big deal, but the editing for the rest is just absurd. I sat there thinking, “Ok, why is this scene so long? We get it, their horses are falling down the hill, are we going to move on with the story at some point today?”
I also didn’t understand why I was supposed to care about any of these characters. Was it just because they were the main characters? I’m supposed to want them to succeed and survive even though they let innocents die for profit, and use women as human shields, etc? I didn’t want to spend 2.5 hours with these guys.
Also, most irritating of all, the bizarre fits of laughter that ends about half the scenes in this movie. I’m not kidding, at least ten times all the character laugh raucously at something which isn’t really that funny, and they fade out on that to end the scene. In addition to that, the film ends with a montage of laughing scenes from earlier in the movie, in case we missed it early on. For those of you who haven’t watched it, I’m not kidding, that really happened.
I must be missing something that others love. Some reviews I read said it takes a genre which was ‘morally simplistic’ before this, and uses loads of violence to turn that on its head. Whoever feels the genre was morally simplistic before just isn’t watching closely enough, and they are missing the messages of ambiguity and confusion concerning violence , morality and corruption that fill so many of the Westerns I have watched so far.
I guess I’ll just have to be in the minority on this one, I tried to like it, and failed.