Bone Tomahawk

Bone Tomahawk ★★★★

A pair of drifters randomly murdering travellers for their belongings stumble on the sacred burial ground of a group of cave dwelling Native Americans who kill one of the men while the other escapes to a nearby town.

They track the man down, who has now been jailed by the town's sheriff whose suspicions have been aroused. They find and take the man, the sheriff's deputy and the woman who is tending the arrested man's wounds.

The sheriff, his reserve deputy and the woman's husband, who is nursing a broken leg set out in pursuit, along with the one other man who is willing to accompany them, a fellow who's profession is unknown but who has made it his life's work to kill as many of the indigenous population as possible in revenge for the death of his mother and sisters.

The only other thing they leave with is the information imparted to them regarding the people they are tracking, by the town's Native American resident which is that they are troglodytes, have no name because they don't possess language and that they are to be feared, something made all too clear by his refusal to accompany the posse.

Put simply this is The Hills Have Eyes in a Western setting.

You should know that it is not a short film, in runs well past the 2 hour mark, and in all honesty not a huge amount happens for long periods, there is a lot of riding followed by a lot of walking. But you also know that it is never less than enthralling, helped no end by the script's superb use of language. I highly doubt that the inhabitants of the Wild West spoke in such an erudite fashion but it feels right nonetheless.

The cast are led by Kurt Russell and his magnificent mane and Patrick Wilson gives us plenty of moments with his leg where we need to grit or teeth and try not turn away from the screen. As for Matthew Fox, well I still haven't forgiven and the rest of his Lost cohorts his for stealing 6 years of my life, so I can't be in any way objective when it comes to his performance. But the show gets stolen by Richard Jenkins, the chatty reserve deputy and kind of the Walter Brennan 'Stumpy' character, who is made out to be pretty much useless but proves to be anything but.

The initial reviews gave the impression of a film which takes a hard left turn, but it really doesn't, it clues us into what the men are going to have to face very early on, but it does get fairly ferocious at times.

This is a great debut from Craig Zahler, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, admittedly only written by him, cannot come soon enough.

Paul liked this review