Posts Tagged ‘“The Duel”’

Liam Helmsworth

Liam Helmsworth

THE DUEL” My rating: C- (Opening June 24 at the Town Center)

118 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Should the revisionist Western “The Duel”  be read as an anti-Trump screed?

Unintentionally, maybe — the film surely was in the works long before the Donald announced his intention of becoming our next president.

But the themes it pursues — a willful strongman, race hatred (especially against Mexicans), an insular world view — sure make it seem like a contemporary political commentary.

As it turns out, how “The Duel” reflects current political currents is its strongest feature.

As a horse opera Kieran Darcy-Smith’s drama is pretentious, overwritten, painfully unsubtle and thoroughly ridiculous.

Texas Ranger David Kingston (Liam Hemsworth) is given an undercover assignment. An alarming number of dead bodies — most of them Mexicans — have been washing downstream from a mysterious and insular border town.

The burg is presided over by The Preacher (Woody Harrelson), a charismatic snake handler and faith healer who totally controls the lives of his congregants.

Buff, bald and over the top, Harrelson might actually be auditioning for the role of  Judge Holden in an upcoming film version of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.


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