DIRECTOR: Sam Peckinpah
May Contain Spoilers!
Heretic! Burn me as a Heretic! I know but I just didn’t like it. Now, this may be a groundbreaking western, with slow motion, anti-heroes and brutal violence but it was still a 1960’s western when all’s said and done and westerns are not my thing, at all. I do like the modern epic westerns, particularly Kevin Costner’s work but The Wild Bunch barely held my attention. The opening 10 minutes in which a town is all but wiped out as gang of outlaws, The Wild Bunch are set up and ambushed by the railroad, but the violence is just too severe and didn’t feel plausible or realistic.
Would this town have been decimated like this? Really? The tone was also very televisual, no doubt due to the fact that this was Peckinpah’s first feature film after an established career in television, even down to the flat music, which lacked any cinematic punch. But I liked what Sam Peckinpah was doing but maybe the impact of his efforts has been so embrued everyone’s work since that the impact was diluted. I just found this to be something like what Quentin Tarantino would do but without the irony. Poe faced would be the word for this. But the format is that of a traditional western, just perverted and that is probably where it failed to engage me. Again, western’s aren’t my thing.
Personally, even though I understand that this film is so well-regarded, I can’t in good conscience recommend this to anyone who hasn’t already seen it or is a western fanatic as to anyone else, it will either be seen as tame or just plain boring. Though boorish also springs to mind. Not for me in the slightest.