THE OLD WAYS – Review by Susan Granger

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Until recently, Nicolas Cage had never made a Western. Now he’s made two. Butcher’s Crossing – about an frontiersman searching for a hidden valley of buffalo he can slaughter – was the first, now there’s The Old Way.

Set in the Montana territory in the late 1870s, Cage plays coldly reformed gunslinger Colton Briggs who left his outlaw days far behind him when he married Ruth (Kerry Knuppe) and sired a daughter, Brooke (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). Living on a nearby farm, Briggs is the respectable proprietor of a small frontier town’s general store.

One day – after Colton walked 12-year-old Brooke to school – hapless Ruth finds herself surrounded by four menacing men, led by escaped convict James McCallister (Noah Le Gros). It’s no accident that they arrived there since James saw Colton kill his father 20 years ago when he was just a lad. (That incident is shown in the prologue.)

Now, by murdering Ruth – James is out for revenge. Later, when Colton and Brooke arrive home and see the carnage, the emotionless chase is on.

While pursuing James, who’s heading toward Santa Rosa in southern Colorado, Colton teaches emotionally-withdrawn Brooke how to survive by protecting herself and shooting a gun. Soon they’re joined by a local marshal (Nick Searcy) and his deputies who are also after James McAllister.

All-too-reminiscent of Unforgiven and True Grit, there’s little originality in Carl W. Lucas’s contrived, utterly predictable screenplay, blandly directed by Brett Donowho (Acts of Violence).

What adds a frisson of interest, however, is that the armorer for this Western was Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was accused by the assistant director and Cage of conducting ‘unsafe firearms activities’ on the set. She was subsequently involved and is under investigation for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after an accidental firearms discharge on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, The Old Way is a dismal 4, streaming on Amazon Prime.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.