NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON THE PAST.
The Civil War is over, but not for Gideon (Pierce Brosnan) who’s being hunted all over the Rockies by Carver (Liam Neeson) and his men. The reason for this manhunt remains unclear throughout most of this exciting Western and so do our sympathies; we have no idea which one of these ruthless, violent men to root for. It doesn’t matter though since this confusion only adds to the tension. Director David Von Ancken tells the story in an unrelenting way and offers plenty of variation in the challenges the men face, which is matched by cinematographer John Toll who takes us from snowy mountains to sweltering deserts. Those looking for depth will find opportunities for biblical interpretations.
2007-U.S. 115 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Bruce Davey, David Flynn. Directed by David Von Ancken. Screenplay: David Von Ancken, Abby Everett Jacques. Cinematography: John Toll. Cast: Pierce Brosnan (Gideon), Liam Neeson (Carver), Michael Wincott (Hayes), John Robinson, Ed Lauter, Robert Baker… Anjelica Huston, Angie Harmon.
Trivia: Richard Gere was first cast as Gideon.
Last word: “The funny part is that I thought I would have the luxury of more time now that I was doing a feature, but it turned out to be the opposite [from television]. We used only available light and shot outside with a cinematographer named John Toll, who is very gifted at shooting available light. But in doing so, you’re tying yourself to the setting sun. We had 47 days, and for 46 of those we had no cover, so when the sun sets, you’re done. We had to move even faster than TV, if you can imagine.” (Von Ancken, Chud)