This western directed by Ed Harris stars both he and Viggo Mortensen. It also costars Renee Zellweger and Jeremy Irons. I remember aching to get to the theater to see Appaloosa when it came out and really regretting I never made it. So when I finally got around to watching it on DVD, I had very high expectations.
Those expectations were severely uncalled for.
On paper, the acting alone should have made this a great movie, but it failed to impress. Mortensen, as usual, delivered a subtle performance, but he seemed to suffer from the haphazard plot and script. Renee Zellweger’s role encompassed every negative trait you could give a woman, and I just don’t buy Jeremy Irons as a cowboy. Sorry. But Ed Harris – oh, Ed Harris. Shame on you, you normally fantastic actor.
Ed Harris adapted this movie from the novel and directed it, so the clichéd dialogue, slow pacing, and uninteresting characters (exempting Mortensen, of course), fell squarely on his shoulders. Harris’ character obviously meant to come off as complex, but I found him inconsistent and silly. And frankly, the movie as a whole came off the same. I counted the minutes until it ended.
Appaloosa looked great in the trailers, but failed to entice when watched in its entirety. Even the amazing Viggo Mortensen couldn’t save it.