HORIZON: AN AMERICAN SAGA – CHAPTER ONE – “A sprawling Western revival that’s as ambitious as it is uneven”

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RATING

DIRECTOR

Directed by: Kevin Costner (The Postman – 1997)

MAIN CAST

Kevin Costner as Hayes Ellison
Sienna Miller as Frances Kittredge
Sam Worthington as First Lt. Trent Gephardt
Danny Huston as Colonel Houghton
Michael Rooker as Sgt. Major Riordan
Jena Malone as Ellen/Lucy
Michael Angarano as Walter Childs
Abbey Lee as Marigold
Jamie Campbell Bower as Caleb Sykes
Luke Wilson as Matthew Van Weyden
Ella Hunt as Juliette Chesney

SYNOPSIS

It is the first installment in the potentially 4-part film series.

Families, friends and foes discover the lure of the Old West as the Civil War divides the country.

REVIEW SUMMARY

A sprawling Western revival that’s as ambitious as it is uneven, Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter One is a whole lotta movie! Too much? Admittedly, yes. Even at 3 solid hours, the film is overstuffed with a plethora of characters (young and old) and many, many side stories. It’s a fairly constant swaying back and forth of narrative tales, and let’s just say some are better than others. In fact, some are truly great. For one, Kevin Costner’s character and his entanglement with a ruthless family out for revenge is pretty darn compelling. Also enthralling is the portrayal of the Apache natives. Initially shown as nothing more than ruthless attackers, the film delves more into the lives of the Native characters as it goes on. From there, we get an intriguing glimpse at the internal strife among their people. It may not be the most “sensitive” depiction, but it’s effective, nonetheless. Speaking of effective, the movie’s expansive visuals are always awe-inspiring. Costner shoots the film with as big of a scope as possible, and let’s just say the results are impressive. Heck, the rugged landscapes become characters in and of themselves (not that the movie needed more, though). Plus, with all the period set pieces and stellar costumes on display, it all looks the part of a Western epic - on every level. If only the stories told were as impressively constructed. But, while things are scattershot at best, there’s thankfully no lack of action. Honestly, there’s probably more than you expect. And warning, it can get fairly brutal at times too. Of course, the big question is: will it resonate? I’d say yes, for the most part. I mean, you’ll surely find a connection with a character or two amidst the crowded field. And maybe, just maybe, that will be enough to bring you back for chapter 2 (and if Costner has it his way, chapters 3 and 4). So, it’s probably best you saddle up for the lengthy ride to come.

BOX OFFICE TOP 5

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