Despite fierce audience indifference, Ed Harris is the latest Hollywood player to tackle the western genre. He co-wrote, directed and stars in this adap of Robert B Parker’s novel about travelling marshals Cole (Harris) and Hitch (Viggo Mortensen), hired to take down psycho-rancher Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) and his gang of reprobates.
The laid-back lawmen supply the main pleasures, but Appaloosa trips up when Renee Zellweger’s simpering widow arrives and threatens to break their loyalty chains. It’s a shame the love-troika detracts from the film’s most intriguing theme: Cole’s sociopathic inclination to overstep his remit, a topic whose modern-day parallels offer more dramatic reward than Zellweger’s gaudy interloper.
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