neil’s review published on Letterboxd:
"LET HIM FUCKING STAY THERE"
God can David Milch write dialogue. Deadwood was a show that I adored for it's rich characters, incredible dialogue and setting. It was not a show that I am absolutely fell in love with simply because I felt like it didn't reach it's full potential due to it's ill-fated cancellation. I personally loved the first season but I felt underwhelmed by 2 and 3. It is definitely a character driven TV show. The third season ended just like any other season would and I can only imagine the disappointment of fans back in 2006 when it was announced it's cancellation.
You see I believe the ending to a show is vital for me to decide whether the journey was worth it and Deadwood didn't get it's chance to prove it....until now. Deadwood: The Movie has joined Serenity and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya in the Holy Trinity of movies that concludes their respective short lived shows. It was fucking great!!!
Starting off while I didn't love this show, I admit I got a little teary eyed when the Deadwood theme started playing and we were reacquainted with these characters for the first time in 13 years. My biggest worry going into this was that I hoped that it wasn't just a reunion episode of sorts. I hoped it had it had a story to tell. And what this movie does is basically resolve every loose plot line that was left dangling after it's third season. And man did they do a great job at it. It was such a delight seeing all these characters and witnessing how much they have changed both physically and mentally. The cast deserves all the praise that it gets. Ian McShane as Al Swearengen is one of my favourite characters in all of Television and I am both happy and sad with what they did with him in this movie.
Did I want a 10 episode final season instead? Yes I did, but the amount of things that this movie managed to do all within it's limited runtime is truly something to appreciate. Yes some characters don't get enough screen time but that's to be expected. At the very least this movie managed to give almost every single one of them a sense of closure when it comes to their arcs. Though I do wish they gave a more concrete resolution for the George Hearst storyline. While it is implied that it will have a concrete ending in the future but I wish I could have seen that considering that plot line was one of the show's best.
For what it is, Deadwood: The Movie is a fantastic farewell to a show that never really got it's chance to say goodbye. It is an outstanding conclusion and a terrific western on it's own right. It delivers an ending that is truly worthy of a show of this infamy. David Milch and his team made use of every single resource at their disposal that comes from creating a feature length film and absolutely fucking delivered. This is even more impressive when you consider the fact that Milch was suffering from Bipolar disorder and Alzheimer's disease. God Bless You, Milch and thank you for giving us this show.