I really don't like westerns, but that's not why I won't recommend Appaloosa. There are genres of film that I don't like so I try to make a point of reviewing the quality of the movie as well as giving my level of enjoyment. I liked 3:10 to Yuma and I've grown to appreciate Unforgiven, but Appaloosa was not a well made western.
I think part of the problem was the cast. An important ability for even the most famous of actor is to be able to convince the audience that they belong in the time period or region that the movie takes place in. At no point did I forget that the characters were being played by Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons, Viggo Mortensen, and Renee Zellweger. In fact, I couldn't even tell you their characters names if you asked me to. None of them convinced me that they were these characters and so throughout the movie I just saw those four celebrities wearing silly costumes a whole month before Halloween.
My other issue was the fact that there really was no climax. This movie was essentially 3:10 to Yuma if that story actually took place in Yuma. They didn't need to get the prisoner to the train, they simply needed to wait for the train to get to them. There's very little story there, so once the criminal was on the train, the train is ambushed and the criminal gets away. From that point on, Appaloosa is a love story only.
As a side note, I was watching this movie in a theatre with about 30 other people. Most people were there in groups of 2 or 3 and I assume the groups didn't know each other. Everyone in the theatre was giggling at things that were happening in the movie that weren't funny for 1882 (the year the movie takes place.) It seemed like the audience thought the costumes, the language, the accents, the dirt roads, the architecture, and the fact that the people of that time didn't drive cars was silly and preposterous. That might have taken away from my experience also, but it just really wasn't a good movie.
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