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Customer Review

on 1 July 2009
This could have been a great film but, for a number of reasons, it falls just short of greatness, being a good rather than a classic western.

It certainly seems extremely authentic in costume, weaponry etc and the countryside is well filmed with the long sweeping shots that remind me of many previous, well loved westerns. The action is also well handled and fairly realistic.

Wes Studi makes a very impressive and credible Geronimo. It's about the best depiction of him that I've ever seen. The only trouble is, we don't see enough of him, getting more of Patric and Damon instead. Their stories are interesting but this is supposed to be a film about Geronimo after all.

We have some good performances here in supporting roles with Robert Duval and Gene Hackman as reliable as ever. It was good to see characters who couldn't make their minds up about the Apache as well as the hardline extremists in this film. Robert Duval's character is a good example of this, half hating and half admiring his long term adversaries.

The Apaches are represented fairly well but Wes Studi gives the most memorable performance by far as you'd expect. I am glad that this film doesn't shy away from depicting atrocities committed by both sides and, while the Apache are certainly depicted as the main victims, this film is reasonably even handed in its approach. That said, the Mexicans don't get much of a look in and the majority of the fighting Geronimo was involved with was against them. After all, Geronimo is his Spanish name as this film reveals.

As another reviewer pointed out, I noticed a few homages to the Magnificent Seven and Ulzana's Raid. This is a shame in many ways as a film ought to be able to stand on its own and not 'borrow' from others.

Overall this is an enjoyable film and even thought provoking in places. I couldn't fault its historical accuracy either. If the script had stayed with the Apaches a little longer, it might have been even better.
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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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