From the beginning, 'Bone Tomahawk' can be considered a traditional western movie. The story starts in medias res, with a scene that instantly sets the graphic tone of the film, and the plot respects the classic themes of every old cowboy picture with a conflict between white conquerors and Native Americans fighting for their land. However, even though all the typical elements represented in a western are there, 'Bone Tomahawk' adds something different to the story by mixing these traditional features with scenes straight out of the drama and horror department. In fact, what renders this movie entertaining and well made, are not only the settings that bring to life this classic western, but also the strong dialogues, which are accurate in adopting the appropriate slurred slang used to recreate the authentic feeling of the old cowboy pictures, and the committed and realistic performances delivered effortlessly by the actors.
The pace of the film is quite slow, as it happens with most western movies, however, the irony and the sarcastic lines delivered always by Richard Jenkins' character Chicory makes it more bearable for the audience to follow the story without losing focus or getting restless. Is it precisely the strong comic timing and the great acting skills of the cast ensemble that created the perfect mix of entertainment and action for the film? The dialogues are sharp and fast paced, keeping the audience glued to the story. Each character has his own individuality, creating a well-balanced expedition group that is capable of carrying the entire movie on its shoulder without adding unnecessary special features.
The whole cast worked together effortlessly to bring on the screen remarkable performances that compliment and support one another. Each character has a strong personality that is complementary to the others and thanks to this diversification, the dynamics in the group are well balanced throughout the story. Moreover, since the plot is linear, the film is easy to follow. However this linearity doesn't make the plot dull, on the contrary, since the events are not fully disclosed immediately, throughout the movie new details are given and it becomes easy to piece together everything by simply following the characters in their journey.
From Sheriff Hunt to Brooder, a local educated man, and Chicory as well, each man is bonded to a female figure, and they embark on this rescue mission not only to save their own people, but also to protect their small town and their families. Their courage, loyalty and stubbornness is ever present and in showing a different side of their personality throughout the movie, their actions also highlight how much each character is well rounded and layered.
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