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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Geronimo Solemnity, 31 July 2011
This review is from: Geronimo [DVD] [1994] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Geronimo: An American Legend is directed by Walter Hill and written by John Milius. It stars Wes Studi, Jason Patric, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Matt Damon and Pato Hoffman. Music is by Ry Cooder and cinematography by Lloyd Ahern. Story tells of what led Geronimo to being the most wanted Apache warrior on the American Government list, and his subsequent capture/surrender in 1886.

Walter Hill takes his Westerns seriously, striving for authenticity in look, feel and narrative. He achieves all of these in Geronimo, only that this is hardly a biography of Geronimo the man. Film chronicles the great Apache leader courtesy of the memoirs of one of the cavalrymen who hunted him down, this thread is surrounded by historical points of worth such as land rights, the changing of the West, cultural clashes, racism and etc. Add in some lush Utah photography, traditional Western staples such as horseback chases, fights and shootouts, and it's just under two hours of good Western movie entertainment. But the screenplay doesn't open up Geronimo the man, in fact not really affording the excellent Studi (Geronimo) all that much screen time in the process. Film would have been better titled as Geronimo, Charles B. Gatewood (Patric) and Britton Davis (Damon), since the latter two are dealt with as much as the Apache warrior is.

It's a good film that only deals in under two years of the Geronimo Campaign. Yes it redresses the balance by attempting to show both sides of the coin, and for sure it isn't found wanting for accuracy. But under developing the title character is a major problem. This should have been much, much better and leaves us still waiting for a definitive Geronimo story. 6/10
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