|Geronimo:An American Legend/C+,A|
Columbia/1993/115m/ANA 2.35, PS 1.33
| I love Westerns.
There is something about the directness of that society, the good guys and the bad guys,
that makes it easy to appreciate. These days, I rarely have the treat of a new and
exciting "oater," so theres some reason to celebrate the arrival of one on
DVD. Unfortunately, Walter Hills sincere effort, Geronimo: An American Legend
fails to capture the excitement of the West and never achieves dramatic strength.
Detailing the Geronimo Campaign of the 6th Cavalry, the film seems little more
than a series of tableau, many of them beautiful, representing the events surrounding the
chase and eventual capture of the renegade Apache warrior.
Hill assembled a terrific team in mounting this production. The visual achievements are outstanding. Lloyd Ahern Jr.s command of the camera is majestic. Period detail appeared to be the result of thorough research. Ry Cooders score captures the power of the visual majesty, the force of the cavalry, and the mysticism of the Indians.
The script does not
give the actors much chance of competing with the grandeur of the setting. Robert
Duvall provides some interesting support in the role of Chief Scout Al Sieber, but Gene
Hackman is surprisingly flat playing General George Crook. Wes Studi, so fine in Last of
the Mohicans, just cannot handle this amount of screen time. He never generates the
mystery or ferocity that Geronimo must exhibit to make this flick a go. Along with Studi,
Jason Patric fails to carry the picture on his shoulders. Patric brings his typically
moody presence to the role of Lt. Charles Gatewood, but Duvall is the only one with enough
flare to shine through the Western dust. Matt Damon narrates and plays the innocent young
officer learning all about the being a cavalry soldier and a man. His eyes stand in for