Sunday, June 27, 2010

Red Rock West

Red Rock West is a neo-noir from 1993, and the kind of a thriller that makes you nod in approval at correct choices made by the filmmakers, yell at the screen during intense moments, and lock your doors as soon as it is over. Directed by John Dahl and cowritten by his brother Rick, it opens with Nicholas Cage, an unemployed Texan at the end of a 2,200 mile drive in Red Rock, Wyoming, where his latest plan for employment has gone bust, but a case of mistaken identity offers him a lucrative opportunity, or more likely more than he bargained for. Red Rock West plays perfectly until an ill conceived ending, which I found to be sloppy. Still, it is a film that plays well for most of its running time, and it is a fine entry in the noir genre. I rented this after the passing of Dennis Hopper, who has a juicy role in the film and it is a reminder of how he will be missed as an actor. It is also worth noting how much J.T. Walsh has been missed in the 13 years since his death, who also has a devious role in the type he was so good at playing.