Saturday, February 13, 2010

Capsule Review: The Wild Bunch (1969)

As someone who has on many occasions enjoyed the fruits of cinematic bloodshed, I gladly raise my glass to Sam Peckinpah and The Wild Bunch which raised the bar when it came to the age old themes of violence and anti-heroism. But the film is more than an opportunity to show squibs exploding in slow motion, it’s an examination of the end of the American west, about innocence and corruption, about honor and doing the right thing even when you’re the wrong guys. Honor among thieves was – and continued to be – a regular theme for Peckinpah and his followers – John Woo among them – but his collection of tough guy actors – William Holden, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates – was rarely matched. The orgy of violence which caps the film might be the only appropriate ending for a film that gladly embraces the last gasp of the American west.

No comments: