Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It must have been Walter Hill flop month on AMC because I caught two of his biggest. Wild Bill came at a productive, flop-tacular time for Hill: the 90's. I had heard awful, scathing reviews about Wild Bill, but I thought there wasn't anyway it could be that bad... oh dear God I was wrong. It was absolutely worse. The movie starts with Bill (Jeff Bridges, but I'm the dude) hitting Deadwood (which covered all this better later on with some direction from Walter Hill...hmmm) to try and hit it big during the gold rush. The story is juxtoposed with too many annoying side characters and flashbacks. You never get a real sense of story with all the backtracking. Gunfights litter these for no particular reason other than to spice up the dull narrative.
Everybody is miscast. Ellen Barkin as Calamity Jane, Christina Applegate in anything, and The Dude sleepwalking through the lead all are enough to turn the film off immediately. Everything from the look to the direction just smacks of awfulness. This isn't even so bad that it is fun to watch. Even Diane Lane isn't fun... and lemme tell ya that is a hard thing to accomplish.
One wonders if Hill was just in a drug/alcohol stupor until his comeback with an episode of Deadwood and the pretty great tv western Broken Trail. Hill would follow this up with Last Man Standing, Supernova (a long story there...), and Undisputed... all turd sandwiches. Here's your DVD quote... Wild Bill is even WORSE than you would have thought!