Directed by Lawrence Kasdan
Written by Mark and Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, John Cleese, Linda Hunt, Brian Dennehy, Rosanna Arquette, Jeff Goldblum
Paden (Kline), Emmett (Glenn), Jake (Costner), and Mal (Glover) have come together as friends over their shared adventures and personal tragedies. After arriving in Silverado, the four men are hopeful that they can settle down and live quieter lives. All of this is put on hold thanks to the injustices being wrought by the town sheriff (Dennehy). Now the men combine their efforts to save the small town and everyone in it.
This film was directed by four-time Oscar nominee, Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill). The screenplay was completed by Lawrence Kasdan and his brother Mark Kasdan (Criminal Law). The film features an all-star cast of big names like Kevin Kline (The Conspirator), Scott Glenn (The Paperboy), and Kevin Costner (Field of Dreams). The cast also features Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), John Cleese (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), and Linda Hunt (Kindergarten Cop). Additionally, the film features Brian Dennehy (Romeo + Juliet), Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction), and Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park).
Since the seventies, Westerns have generally been one attempt after another to redefine the genre. Through complicated plots and unique story elements, writers have tried to do something “new”. Thankfully, this film isn’t one of them. The story is a look back at the way Westerns used to be. The idea of good versus evil is in the forefront of this movie, and despite the flawed characters, it works. Sure, some of the good guys have flaws, but not when it comes to standing up for what’s right. While this doesn’t break any new ground, it does a nice job of reworking the old ways. The characters are many, but they share the story nicely, making the cast stand out as one large talented group. The dialogue has some cheesy moments, but thankfully works right into the feel of the story. It runs a bit long, mainly due to some of the more complex backgrounds given, but it’s not a major issue. Overall, a nice and refreshing Western story.
The acting in this movie is evidence of the many great actors cast for it. Kline, Glenn, Costner, and Glover come together nicely as the ragtag bunch trying to do good. Each of their stories is nicely developed through good writing, and allows the acting to build on the good and bad within the characters. Adding in John Cleese, Linda Hunt, Rosanna Arquette, and Jeff Goldblum gave this cast a lot of depth also. Each of these actors does a great job in their supporting roles. Finally, Brian Dennehy plays a great villain. I think each of these actors did a great job in this one. Beyond these names, the rest of the cast is good, but the divide in talent is evident at times. This didn’t hurt the film a lot, but made for some weaker moments with some of the lesser characters.
The locations chosen for this film are awesome. The movie was filmed primarily in New Mexico, where the film makers took advantage of many of the differing natural landscapes. In addition to the locations, the costuming and set design do a great job creating the small Western towns and farmland. The cinematography is also wonderful throughout the movie. The camera work takes advantage of nicely created action sequences and all of the sets available. Overall, this is a wonderfully made movie from the visual aspects. The film also features an excellent Oscar-nominated score, written by Bruce Broughton (Tombstone). The film earned a second Oscar nomination for Best Sound. Overall, the technical aspects of the movie are nicely done.
This is a nicely made Western with an excellent cast. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes Westerns. I would also encourage fans of any of the actors to check this one out. The action is great, and it’s not overly violent. Make sure to set aside a little time, as this one runs over two hours. I give this one 3.7 out of 5 stars.