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In his second directorial effort (following the 2000 biopic Pollock), Harris takes his cue from novelist Parker's often deadpan-comic touch, allowing action and character to accumulate in accordance with an overall eccentric rhythm. (The film's main disappointment is that it would benefit from more running time to allow things to stew a bit longer, especially in the second half.) The character work is choice, from the moment Tom Bower, James Gammon, and Timothy Spall step into view as Appaloosa's civic leaders; the director's father Bob Harris contributes a cameo as a mellifluous-tongued circuit judge, and an age-thickened Lance Henriksen turns up midfilm as gunman Ring Shelton, trailing affability and menace. In collaboration with Dances With Wolves cameraman Dean Semler, Harris sets up shots and scenes in such a way that we often see into and out of Appaloosa's various buildings simultaneously, to excellent dramatic and atmospheric effect, and there's a thrillingly vertical dynamics to a scene involving a train at an isolated water stop. The action is lethal when it needs to be, but never dwelt upon. "That was over quick," Hitch observes after one gun battle. Cole's response says it all: "Everybody could shoot." --Richard T. Jameson
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Top Customer Reviews
One reviewer complains that Appaloosa is anti-climatic and leaves a lot of things unresolved. In that sense it is like George Bush.
Most recent customer reviews
I liked the work that Harris put into this. He and Viggo Mortensen really shine. I liked the "broad canvass" approach Harris took as the director, although I feel some of... Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2013 by Darren D
This is the directorial debut for Ed Harris .In the film he plays Virgil Cole ,an itinerant lawman, who, along with his partner Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen- who steals the whole... Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2009 by Ian G. Mcgillivray