'The Lone Ranger' tries to fix genre that's not broken

Published: Thursday, July 11 2013 6:58 p.m. MDT

And it helps that both filmmakers deliver terrific performances themselves — but it really helps that they both also managed to rope in co-stars who not only add to their films but also elevate them. “Appaloosa” co-stars Viggo Mortensen and “Open Range” co-stars Robert Duvall. Both play longtime trail pals and both deliver deceptively low-key performances that stick with you.

Of course, Duvall is great in everything he does, and he seems especially at home in a saddle. His big-screen Westerns include “Geronimo: An American Legend” (1993, PG-13), Clint Eastwood’s “Joe Kidd” (1972, PG), “The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid” (1972, PG), “Lawman” (1971, R) and he was the villain going up against John Wayne in the original “True Grit” (1969).

But Duvall’s best Western — one of the greatest Westerns ever made — is a miniseries he did for television, “Lonesome Dove” (1989), co-starring Tommy Lee Jones and a truly amazing cast. (Duvall’s 2006 cable miniseries “Broken Trail” is also quite good.)

A Western can still be relevant without tossing tradition out the window.

Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parents Guide to Movie Ratings." His website is www.hicksflicks.com

Email: hicks@deseretnews.com

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