From my 10.19.2018 Variety review: “Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear — specifically, the mid-1950s to the late ’60s — when Paramount and Warner Bros. relied on producers such as A.C. Lyles and Hal Wallis, and directors like Henry Hathaway, Gordon Douglas, and Burt Kennedy, to maintain a steady flow of workmanlike Westerns for consumption by diehard horse opera fans at theaters and drive-ins everywhere. That’s the invitation extended by writer-director-star Scott Martin’s Big Kill, one of the precious few Westerns of recent years that one can easily imagine as a decades-ago vehicle for John Wayne, Dean Martin, James Stewart, and their contemporaries with only minor tweaking of the script (and some discreet removal of vulgar language, sexual references, and other naughty bits).
“Yes, it clocks in at a leisurely 127 minutes, but that makes it only four minutes longer than John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) — just one of the obvious influences on Martin’s scenario about an upright tenderfoot who learns hard lessons about rough justice in the Wild West.”
Come Tuesday, Big Kill will be available for streaming on Netflix. You can read the rest of my Variety review here, and my Cowboys & Indians Magazine interview with Scott Martin here.
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