film

reviews










 

Hostiles (2017)

Director:
Scott Cooper
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Western
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Hostiles

RUNNING TIME
133 minutes

Producer:
Scott Cooper
Ken Kao
John Lesher
Screenwriter (from a story by Donald E. Stewart):
Scott Cooper


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Captain Joseph J. Blocker Christian Bale ½
Rosalee Quaid Rosamund Pike ½
Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hawk

Wes Studi

Lieutenant Rudy Kidder

Jesse Plemons
Black Hawk Adam Beach
First Sergeant Thomas Metz Rory Cochrane
Lieutenant Colonel Ross McCowan Peter Mullan
Cyrus Lounde Scott Wilson
Corporal Tommy Thomas Paul Anderson
Private Philippe Dejardin Timothée Chalamet
Sergeant Charles Wills Ben Foster
Corporal Henry Woodson Jonathan Majors
Captain Royce Tolan John Benjamin Hickey
Elk Woman Q'orianka Kilcher
Living Woman Tanaya Beatty
Colonel Abraham Biggs Stephen Lang
Jeremiah Wilks Bill Camp
Sergeant Malloy Ryan Bingham

 

Review

While traditional westerns tried to tell you that death was swift, tidy and usually justified, the revisionist western genre goes to the opposite end of the scale, showing us an environment and a society in which it almost appears incredible that anyone survived at all. Hostiles falls safely in the latter category, with its brutal and relentless account about a disgruntled army captain (Christian Bale) whose final task before retirement is to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief (Wes Studi) and his family back to their tribal lands in Montana.

Having already started in media res with a segment about a settler family and a Comanche war party, writer/director Scott Cooper has a fine setup from which to spin his tale. And thanks to his patient narrative style, well thought-out characters and the hauntingly beautiful images shot by  cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi, Hostiles sucks you in and transports you successfully back in time and place. Cooper is out to show us that western life was grim and the complex characters who found themselves in it had reasons for acting the way they did. There's cruelty and violence around every corner, and sometimes it's not so easy to decipher who had morals on their side. Strong, solid acting from almost all members of an all-star cast, but particularly from Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike in the male and female lead, respectively, keeps the film constantly engrossing, even when Cooper's script occassionally becomes too slow-moving or faltering in logic.

Copyright © 13.01.2020 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

[BACK TO INDEX]

[HAVE YOUR SAY]