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Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Vincent Cassel, Juliette Lewis, Michael Madsen, Temuera Morrison
Director: Jan Kounen

Mike is a young, stubborn, soft man and he is sent out west to be turned into a man by his uncle. On his first night there he meets and immediately falls in love with an enchanting young prostitute from the local saloon. He loses his virginity to this girl but his temporary paradise is smashed to bits when Wally (Michael Madsen) walks in and shots are fired. After the smoke clears both Mike and Wally are standing but the poor girl is dead. Mike is wounded but manages to flee. He is found half dead and covered with slithering snakes by a pair of Native American Indians. He is nursed back to health and he is shown many things by them.

Mike is now a man (Vincent Cassel) and he is also the local sheriff. He is investigating the rumours of a journal containing a map that details gold in the mountains. This map is held by two treasure hunters – the backstabbing Prosit (Eddie Izzard) and Woodhead played by Djimon Hounsou. It soon falls into the hands of a local rancher who also happens to be the father of a girl that Mike likes very much.

Wally comes riding back into town after the same treasure. Mike must now face him and he must also face something much worse, his own inner demons.

This is an interesting storyline loosely based on the comic strip Blueberry, but alas it is a flawed though very well shot film with an excellent cast who all give good performances, even though they have very little to work with. Michael Madsen stands out with a very convincing performance of a man who is truly evil, right down to his very soul.

The cinematography is very good with excellent visuals. However it seems as though the director got a bit carried away with the visual aspect and forgot about the screenplay.

Not worth the trip to the cinema, best viewed at home.

3 out of 6 stars