Release Info: Red Rock West (1993) dvdrip
In any number of films, you can find Nicholas Cage as a strong, silent hero, Dennis Hopper as a homicidal maniac, Lara Flynn Boyle as a vamp/tramp, and the late, lamented J.T. Walsh as the heavy. These are the types of roles these four can play in their sleep, and they have done so often enough that to see them playing them again borders on cliche. What a relief, therefore, that John Dahl, a master at getting a lot of mood out of a little action, directed this nuanced noirish thriller. Hopper manages to keep from going over the top, Cage shows a little more depth than his usually-superficial action heroes, Boyle is by turns sultry, innocent, and scheming, and one gets a sense of the hard iron of the soul that is central to his character, Wayne. Dahl's direction gives a sense of the emptiness of the Big Sky country where the story takes place while also being intimate enough to show how a wrinkled brow can indicate a radical change of plot in store. The plot twists are top-notch, and one of the other great twists in this movie is that some of the supporting characters actually act as if they have brains. It isn't often that minor characters like deputy sheriffs have more brains than their headlining superiors. But with a director as smart as Dahl, you shouldn't be surprised by the intelligence of anything connected with this film. An excellent movie.