I caught this on TV in June '08; it is a 'Young Guns' movie without jokes. The action was not without merit, but the acting was weak except for a young Colin Farrell, and i had to put my hands over my ears at points to quell my nausea due to a poor script. Other than that it is a good movie for Children.
A film that can best be described as the "dumb version" of Young Guns, American Outlaws ranks among the year's most entertainingly insipid movies.
Frank and Jesse return home after the Civil War, hoping to build a nice quiet lifestyle and raise some young'ens. Unfortunately, here come the evil railroad tycoons who promptly torch the town and kill Mama James. Along with their good buddies, the Youngers, Frank and Jesse set off to rob lots of banks and redistribute the cash 'Robin Hood' style. The end.
What makes this one any different than the Young Guns flicks, the classic Philip Kaufman western The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid or Walter Hill's entertaining The Long Riders? Well, nothing...other than about 65 billion brain cells.
Imagine a "Wild West" episode of Beverly Hills 90210 with a guest appearance by Timothy Dalton. Better yet, imagine a local high school junior prom plopped into the Old West and you'll have a good idea of the silliness that is American Outlaws. Rare is the childish movie that tries so hard to wear its "grownup" face while failing so resoundingly.
Adults can watch Junior Bonner (S.McQueen) on Sunday afternoon, while the children can watch American Outlaws in another room. Full stop.
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