Appaloosa is a modern-day Western written, directed and starring mister Ed "I will fuck you up" Harris. The film costars mister Viggo "I will gently kick your ass" Mortensen. The film will be in theaters everywhere on October 3rd, but being that I live in Los Angeles, I am part of the "lucky" few that get to see it early. Harris plays the bad ass Marshall, and Mortensen is his "not-as-bad-ass" bad ass Deputy.
Harris and Mortensen meet up again after kicking your ass in A History of Violence. There seems to be a pattern with these two actors - Harris is the bad ass with no morals (cock), while Mortensen is the bad ass with morals (pussy). I got to thinking, and decided I would put together a handy-dandy table to elaborate.
|Harris as a Bad Ass with No Morals||Mortensen as a Bad Ass with Morals|
|The Rock||The Lord of the Rings: TFotR|
|Enemy at the Gates||The Lord of the Rings: TTT|
|A History of Violence|
As my extensive research shows, Harris is a born bad ass with no shred of moral fiber, while Mortensen is the bad ass that you would trust to walk the dogs and clean up after them - what a sweetheart!
The film takes place in a small town, where Harris and Mortensen were summoned to clean up the riff-raff. Chief riff-raff'er is played by Jeremy Irons, who easily gave the best role in the film. Irons' character runs the main gang in the area, so the idea is if the head is cut off, the rest of the body follows. Harris and Mortensen get close to putting down Irons, but their first couple of tries fail...I wish I could say due to clever and interesting twists in the plot, but I can't. They were just obvious plot mechanisms to prolong the story, for a final show-down, which itself was pretty lackluster.
Intertwined in the story is the love saga between Harris and Renee Zellweger's character. Also some pretty obvious ploys to incorporate her into the bringing down of Irons' character. Mortensen's character has a little fuck buddy on the side, but she means as much to the plot as the horses in the above picture.
What I really enjoyed was how quirky the Marshall, Virgil Cole (Harris' character) was portrayed. Even though he was the authority figure, he still had some very human traits; the most repeated was a desire to expand his vocabulary, but having to rely on his deputy, Everett Hitch (Mortensen's character), to pronounce difficult words for him. The rapport between the Marshall and his Deputy was very real, and many of their verbal exchanges will make you smile or chuckle.
Harris and Mortensen give middle-of-the-road performances, but they hit the "bad ass" trait on the nose. I wish Irons would have gotten more screen time, and we could have really gone without Zellweger's characater all together. The film keeps a decent pace, and you never feel bored, especially during the testosterone-filled quick draw sequences. Some people will like this flick - probably more men than women, but not by a large margin.