"a great western movie that perfectly balances humour, horror and action and successfully entertains the audience for two hours"
Bone Tomahawk is a classic western mixed up with good humour and gruesome scenes worthy of the best of Quentin Tarantino's film.
Set in the small town of Bright Hope in the 1800s, Bone Tomahawk's plot is straight forward: a rescue party travels to save the town doctor's assistant, Mrs O'Dwyer, and one of the Sherrif's deputies after they have been kidnapped by the extremely violent Native American clan Troglodyte.
From the beginning, Bone Tomahawk can be considered a traditional western movie. The story starts with a scene that instantly sets the graphic tone of the film, and the plot respects the classic themes of every cowboy picture with a conflict between white conquerors and Native Americans fighting for land. However, even though all the typical elements represented in a western are there, Bone Tomahawk adds something different to the story by mixing these traditional features with scenes straight out of the drama and horror department.
In fact, what renders this movie entertaining and well made, are not only the settings that bring to life this classic western, but also the strong dialogues, which are accurate in adopting the appropriate slurred slang used to recreate the authentic feeling of the old cowboy pictures, and the committed and realistic performances delivered effortlessly by the actors.
All cinematography in film helps the audience immerse completely in the story, making it feel more genuine: in Bone Tomahawk the visual design does its job by being brilliantly realistic and raw. The many panoramic shoots of the wilderness, along with the classical scenography of the small western town, give authenticity to the story by showing primitive and untouched areas, instantly bringing the audience inside the action. Together with the breathtaking bird's eye views, the camera also employs many close ups either to avoid the violent and gruesome details of a particular gory scene or in order to bask in its brutality, showing to the audience every horrifying detail.
The pace of the film is quite slow, as it happens with most western movies, however, the irony and the sarcastic lines delivered by Richard Jenkins' character Chicory makes it more bearable for the audience to follow the story without losing focus or it getting restless. Is it precisely the strong comic timing and the great acting skills of the cast ensemble that created the perfect mix of entertainment and action. The dialogue is sharp and fast-paced, keeping the audience glued to the story. Each character has his own individuality, creating a well-balanced expedition group that is capable of carrying the entire movie on its shoulder without adding unnecessary special features.
The whole cast works together effortlessly forming remarkable performances that compliment and support one another. Each character has a strong personality that is complementary to the others and, thanks to this diversification, the dynamics in the group are well-balanced throughout.
Moreover, since the plot is linear, the film is easy to follow. However this linearity doesn't make the plot dull. On the contrary, since the events are not fully disclosed immediately, throughout the movie new details are given and it becomes easy to piece together everything by simply following the characters in their journey.
At first glance, it might seem like Bone Tomahawk is a film that respects the gender stereotypes in which women are just there to look good and tend to their husbands, while men do all the dirty work. However, even though the main female character, Samantha O'Dwyer, is abducted, fitting the profile of a woman in need, she has a powerful strength that keeps her grounded and focused. Along with her, each man shows some sort of vulnerability and a strong loyalty not only to each other, but also to their female companions, either human or animal.
From Sheriff Hunt to Brooder, a local educated man, and Chicory as well, each man is bonded to a female figure, and they embark on this rescue mission not only to save their own people, but also to protect their small town and families. Their courage, loyalty and stubbornness is ever-present and in showing a different side of their personality throughout the movie, their actions also highlight how much each character is well rounded and layered.
Bone Tomahawk is a great western movie that perfectly balances humour, horror, and action as it successfully entertains the audience for two hours without boring them along the way.