The Far Side of Jericho (2006)

This month’s Western is The Far Side of Jericho, directed by Tim Hunter who made a big splash with River’s Edge (sic) back in the 80s, but who has seemingly been exiled to TV ever since leaving Robocop 2 over ‘creative differences’.  One of his TV jobs was directing episodes of Deadwood, and this takes a similar deconstructive attitude to the Western, emphasizing the hardship and cruelty of living in a land with no justice.

Three women are  forced to go on the run after their husbands are hanged, and they are pursued by assorted character actors, including Patrick Bergin, James Gammon and John Diehl, who believe they’ve got some  money hidden away.  Some of the dialogue is muffled and the terrain is never clearly mapped out, leaving me with the impression that the chase ended up where it started, but I might be  wrong. The New Mexico scenery looks great and the cast keep an admirably straight face throughout. (That is until the closing credits, where Bergin sings a ludicrous theme song in the  style of Frankie Laine, complete with vocal impressions of twangy guitars. Bonkers)

Not bad but not ambitious enough.

Mild Peril Rating: ★★½☆☆

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