Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rooster Cogburn (...and the Lady) (1975)

Amy and I finished this one over several lunch breaks this last week. It's not exactly a sequel to True Grit, but it features John Wayne's same character, the titular Rooster. (At first I'd typed "the titular one-eyed Rooster," but I really wasn't comfortable with that.)

This one's ok. Not as good as True Grit, despite the presence of Katherine Hepburn. The interplay between Hepburn's Churchy La Femme and John Wayne's John Wayne is cute at times, but not as engaging as I thought it would be. There are some fun bits of dialogue, but there are also a few phrases repeated far too often (like "Save your sermon, preacher lady, you won't change this old dog" x 99 -- we get it, your arc is going to be the two of you adjusting to each other and changing minor behavior flaws. You can stop announcing it).

There isn't really a scene to compete with the awesome rifle-spinning horseback charge from True Grit, unfortunately. Wayne opens up with a Gatling gun a few times, and he yells awesome stuff when he dispatches jerks, but it still lacks enough western action for my tastes.

Strother Martin shows up for a few minutes just to be Strother Martin, I guess, so there's that.

The villain (who is played by the guy who was the sneaky southern congressman in The Hunt for Red October!) is just not very threatening or memorable. He comes off as an hot-headed idiot who should have been shot years ago by his own dumb gang. And he blends in perfectly with his gang -- nothing distinguishes him visually or in terms of personality. Yawn. He doesn't even have a gimmick to set him apart. He's just Guy Number 3 who drew the short straw to be boss for the movie.

There are many better Wayne westerns to spend your time on.

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