In a Valley of Violence | Salt Lake City Weekly

In a Valley of Violence

Rated R 104 minutes 2016

★★★★★ ★★★★★
Writer/director Ti West appears to have no higher goal in mind than cranking out a B-picture Western revenge yarn—and to that extent, it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t succeed. Ethan Hawke plays Paul, a taciturn gunman traveling with just his horse and his dog who makes the mistake of riding through the crumbling mining town of Denton, and crossing paths with the hot-headed son (James Ransone) of the town’s marshal (John Travolta). West eventually digs a little bit into Paul’s back-story, and entangles him with a sympathetic young woman (Taissa Farmiga), but subtlety of emotional resonance isn’t the order of the day here. It’s a tale with bold music cues, surprisingly effective bursts of humor, and a solid buildup to the final showdown. As with Hawke’s other current Western vehicle, The Magnificent Seven, it’s not about anything more than good guys with guns vs. bad guys with guns, but there are times when a man just has to admit the appeal of a story with a line like “Those men left me with nothing; I’m gonna leave them with less.”

Film Credits

Director: Ti West

Producer: Jason Blum, Jacob Jaffke, Peter Phok, Alix Taylor, Jeanette Volturno-Brill and Ti West

Cast: Ethan Hawke, John Travolta, Taissa Farmiga, James Ransone, Karen Gillan, Toby Huss, Tommy Nohilly, Larry Fessenden and Burn Gorman

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In a Valley of Violence

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