3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
BEST REVENGE MOVIE, WESTERN-STYLE,
This review is from: Sweet Vengeance [DVD] (DVD)
It's late 19th century in the arid desert of New Mexico. Prophet Josiah (Jason Isaacs) declares himself a deeply religious man, a servant of God, but when he comes across two brothers, Levi and Jacob (Noah & Logan Miller) on his 'Holy Land', sheltering from the parching sun under what little shade there is from a dead tree, cooking an animal they caught on the land, he accuses them of trespassing and stealing - and he sends them on their way, to Heaven or Hell. Merciless, covetous, and hypocritical, Prophet Josiah didn't care to listen to the men's explanations about their miserable mishaps on the hard journey to their waiting and wealthy family in Santa Fe. Prophet Josiah doesn't care either for the Hispanic farmer (Eduardo Noriega) with his beautiful but deceivingly resourceful wife, Sarah Ramírez (January Jones) and cared much less about their dog. But he starts to care when a white-haired stranger, an odd kind of man who seems to fear nothing and no one, comes to town. The stranger declares himself the new town Sheriff (Ed Harris) and says he's looking for two men travelling that way, relatives of the state Governor.
The above is the correct story and contains no spoilers.
Sweetwater (2013) is possibly one of the best westerns that I have ever seen. It ticks lots of boxes, to coin a cliché. Not only is it a western (thankfully devoid for once of whooping Indians and sleazy carpetbaggers) but it's also a detective thriller, a revenge thriller, and the sort of movie that even non-lovers of westerns might like. There's a wonderful atmosphere of menace and confrontation as Prophet Josiah and Sheriff Jackson become enemies, not to mention Sarah getting caught up in it all in a big way. It's also darkly funny, with Sheriff Jackson doing the most outrageous things. Don't imagine it's a comedy though or some kind of family movie. It's rated 15 and there are scenes of a sexual nature, nudity, some very strong language, and graphic violence.
Handsome Ed Harris is perfect in the role as the odd stranger and it's a long time since I've seen him with that much hair on his head. I didn't recognise him at first and for some reason he managed to remind me of rascally Lee Marvin in Paint Your Wagon (1969). You might recognise the equally handsome Eduardo Noriega who recently had a major role as a Mexican drug lord in The Last Stand (2013) with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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