Top positive review
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Doesn't deserve to slip away unnoticed
on 23 April 2012
I saw this film at home on its day of release (courtesy of Curzon On Demand), a couple of weeks ago, and it's almost made it to DVD already. These are sure signs that the distributors are anxious about making their money back!
However, I don't think that this film deserves to 'stay under the radar'. I'll admit that I was initially sceptical about a film based on the premise that Butch Cassidy and his mate Sundance survived the shootout in Bolivia portrayed at the end of the Newman/Redford film, and that it contained imagined flashbacks to their younger days. I was expecting a flimsy cash-in. However, thanks to Sam Shepard and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (playing the old and young Butch, respectively), and a splendidly bitter and drunken turn from Stephen Rea as ex-Pinkertons agent Mackinley, this film becomes a moving and involving Western in its own right. In addition, there is some excellent music from Shepard and stunning photography throughout (particularly the shots of the salt flats that Shepard and his fellow refugeee from justice have to traverse).
Basically, Butch Cassidy is living out his days as James Blackthorn, and is on his way home after selling his horses in Bolivia. However, he becomes entangled with a Spaniard played by Eduardo Noriega, and reluctantly agrees to help him escape his pursuers. However, misty-eyed old age has caused him to misjudge the situation and Blackthorn learns some harsh truths with Mackinley's help.