29 January 2017 | shpoo-1
Watch this film, lose 90 minutes of precious life..
...or lose 2 and a half hours with commercials - probably the best way to go because you'll need to regain your equilibrium fairly frequently. This film has to be seen to be believed, and yet it's very, very difficult to watch with any degree of attentiveness.
Despite an interesting cast of well-known names, it's pretty dismal, even for light entertainment. We have to suspend enough disbelief to accept a 74-year-old Mickey Rooney's portrayal of a grizzled gunfighter as he waddles around in 20 layers of wardrobe apparently stolen from 'Fiddler on the Roof', spewing obscenities though caramel-corn teeth. Watch as men twice his size and half his age cower before his dangerous might...In fact, watch as a man half his size cowers, too (Billy Barty as 'Piggy', a typically humiliating role).
I was particularly saddened by the appearances of film greats Ben Johnson and Ernest Borgnine, who both appeared to be too exhausted from years of scenery-chewing to do anything but phone in their performances (did Mickey Rooney really write that dialogue?!?). And you gotta love Ben's flowery orchid scarf, perched on top of his elderly girth like an exclamation point. Jack Lord would be proud.
Laughably, Mickey has 3 strapping, handsome grown sons: two ably played by singers Larry Gatlin and Randy Travis, the third - the 'slow' one' aptly named 'Slocum' - is Nick Guest, fresh from his triumph as the Dad in Aerosmith's "Jamie's Got A Gun" video. A few more people pop up - Gloria DeHaven has to rub Mickey's feet; Ned Beatty has a daughter violated by Slocum - and after a predictable plot about buried loot and family loyalties, and more capering by Billy Barty, the movie ends on a tragic note with an artsy freeze frame as Mickey's voice echoes into eternity and we all look on in disappointment. Mind you, this review is coming from a longtime Rooney fan; rank and file viewers will be most likely be disappointed to an even greater degree (if humanly possible).
Only really notable for Rooney's incredible resemblance to Yoda, and the fact that even though we see him approach his horse and ride his horse, we never see him actually climb on or off the poor thing...Most likely because this was accomplished off camera by an army of gaffers, grips and riggers, and a block and tackle.