Review: ‘Red Rock West’

A wry thriller with a keen edge, Red Rock West is a sprightly, likable noirish yarn. Centered on a case of mistaken identity, the internecine plot becomes progressively more complex without losing its sense of fun. Essentially a bumbler, Michael (Nicolas Cage) finds himself in a nest of vipers and only through dumb luck manages to elude getting bitten.

A wry thriller with a keen edge, Red Rock West is a sprightly, likable noirish yarn. Centered on a case of mistaken identity, the internecine plot becomes progressively more complex without losing its sense of fun. Essentially a bumbler, Michael (Nicolas Cage) finds himself in a nest of vipers and only through dumb luck manages to elude getting bitten.

Michael has headed to the oil fields of Wyoming on the promise of a job. In the town of Red Rock he’s presumed to be a hired gun commissioned to rub out the wife of a local barkeep.

The saloon owner, Wayne (J.T. Walsh), wafts the long green in front of Michael’s nose, and the near destitute man takes a deep whiff. Playing along for a moment, he confronts the woman (Lara Flynn Boyle) only to have the original offer doubled. He grabs it but decides to bail out before things get worse. Of course, nothing’s that easy.

The ping-pong plot, concocted by writer-director John Dahl, is not to be taken seriously or metaphorically. It owes more to hard-boiled thrillers of the 1940s, albeit with a very large tongue-in-cheek quotient. Dahl, who earlier made the slick, steamy Kill Me Again, demonstrates an affection and understanding of the genre.

Red Rock West

Production

PFE/Propaganda. Director John Dahl; Producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson, Steve Golin; Screenplay John Dahl; Camera Mark Reshovsky; Editor Scott Chestnut; Music William Orvis; Art Director Rob Pearson

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 97 MIN.

With

Nicolas Cage Denis Hopper Lara Flynn Boyle J.T. Walsh Timothy Carhart Dan Shor
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading