What could have been a better film delving into complexities of one tough-but-vulnerable alcoholic sheriff out to bust a cocaine ring, instead ends up an oddly-paced work that is sometimes a thriller and sometimes a love story, succeeding at neither.

What could have been a better film delving into complexities of one tough-but-vulnerable alcoholic sheriff out to bust a cocaine ring, instead ends up an oddly-paced work that is sometimes a thriller and sometimes a love story, succeeding at neither.

A former LA Sheriff named Scudder (Jeff Bridges) comes close to death less than a handful of times while trying to dismantle a scummy Latino drug smuggler’s empire and at the same time winning his girl (Rosanna Arquette).

Respected director Hal Ashby was reportedly fired from this picture before it was finished, which could explain its unevenness as he wasn’t privy to what happened in the editing room.

In isolated scenes, the actors mannage to rise above it all to bring some nuances to their fairly stereo-typical roles. Arquette is best as the hooker with a heart, coyly playing off main squeeze Angel (Andy Garcia), the ultra chic cocaine dealer, until she goes over to Scudder’s side.

8 Million Ways to Die

Production

PSO. Director Hal Ashby; Producer Steve Roth; Screenplay Oliver Stone, David Lee Henry; Camera Stephen H. Burum; Editor Robert Lawrence, Stuart Pappe; Music James Newton Howard; Art Director Michael Haller

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1986. Running time: 115 MIN.

With

Jeff Bridges Rosanna Arquette Alexandra Paul Randy Brooks Andy Garcia
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