Movie Title: Hostiles
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 2 hr. and 14 min.
Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo
Where did I watch it?: Regal Stadium 12 – Swansea, MA
Hostiles is like The Defiant Ones without the handcuffs. Captain Joseph J. Blocker (Christian Bale) is a notorious Indian slaughterer. His fellow officers have similar reputations. They are tasked by Colonel Abraham Biggs (Stephen Lang) with transporting Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) back to his tribe’s ancestral land in Montana. Yellow Hawk was renowned for being a murderer of white men, but he is now old and riddled with cancer. President Benjamin Harrison and the Bureau of Indiana Affairs have become champions of Yellow Hawk’s cause and if Blocker refuses the order his pension will be revoked.
It doesn’t take long for Blocker to show his racist tendencies toward the natives. As soon as they are out of camp he has Yellow Hawk and his son shackled. Along the way they find a burned cabin with Rosalie Quaid (Rosamund Pike) inside. She is still attempting to nurse a dead infant. Quaid is taken into the traveling group where internal conflict is shunted to the side by Comanche raids.
At about the midway point of the movie it becomes very predictable. Blocker sheds his racist tendencies faster than any character in cinematic history. As the movie plods along through its second half, the plot becomes briefly irrational, and then very predictable. The ending can be seen coming a mile away, but it is still a sweet ending to a fairly sad story about camaraderie and violence.
The performances are very good and the story is decent. The pacing is overly slow. See it if you like westerns.
Tomorrow’s Movie: Annihilation (2018)