Dawn Rider

Dawn Rider

——

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Dawn Rider Reviews

Page 1 of 2
themoviewaffler.com
themoviewaffler.com

Super Reviewer

June 10, 2012
With a western from Tarantino and a big budget "Lone Ranger" adaptation due next year, many are predicting a revival of the genre. Along with horror, it's my favorite genre so I'm hoping this will be the case. Unlike the horror movie, it's very hard to make a bad western. It's a peculiar genre in that the more you exploit it's cliches the better a film you'll produce. There are only a handful of storylines in the western so it gives film-makers a certain freedom. No-one expects any originality in terms of plot thus allowing a focus on character and subtext. Two directors could tell the exact same story as a western but imbue it with two wildly contrasting messages. In the forties, film-makers like Hawks and Ford latched onto the genre for this reason, plucking it out of it's B-movie ghetto and into the arena of respectability.
But of course the genre began simply, telling quaint tales of men in white hats fighting men in black hats on cheaply constructed backlots. This movie harks back more to the B-westerns of the thirties than to the classic era of the fifties or the Spaghettis of the sixties. In fact this is actually a remake of just that, a cheapie from 1935 which starred John Wayne at a time when he was churning these out.
The great news is that director Miles has done justice to the genre on a relatively modest budget. The story of course is nothing new but he gets the best from his cast and uses the stunning British Columbia locations to add an extra dimension of class.
It's a long time since former Young Gun Slater has turned in a decent performance but he seems to be really enjoying his role in this. He gets lots of cheesy lines but delivers them with just the right amount of knowing. It's good to see that Jack Nicholson smirk back in full abandon. Sutherland has a small part but is great as the bounty hunter on Slater's tail. The best performance is courtesy of Hennessy, playing a feisty heroine like a foul mouthed Maureen O'Hara. Some actors are meant for certain genres and Hennessy is a perfect fit for the western.
The sets, locations and costumes will satisfy the most purist of western fans. The Klan-like masks worn by the outlaw gang is a nice homage to the villains of "Django". A jailhouse scene uses the same subtle use of prison bars as Michael Mann's "Manhunter". Though Slater is the captive, it's his jailor who is framed behind the bars, suggesting who is really in control here.
I often criticise digital video as a format because it's all too often used badly. There's a certain skill needed to prevent your movie looking like a porno or a wedding video and cinematographer Norm Li possesses that skill. There are some truly beautiful shots on display, a scene on a bridge particularly striking.
For too long, low budget film-makers have opted for the horror genre but lately we've been seeing something of a revival of the B-western. If it's a choice between a gunfight in the old West or a torture scene in Eastern Europe I know which one I'll pick every time. If the western is coming back you can deputise me now, I'm ready for the big showdown.
June 22, 2012
What utter garbage. Stupid plot, flat acting, ridiculous inconsistencies, modern dialogue far removed from period correct, empty characters, the list of bad qualities goes on. The entire production is really lousy. There are giant holes in the story line that get filled with the kind of convenience elements a high school level writer would utilize. Christian Slater came across more like a 10-year old playing cowboy then being a cowboy. I tried really hard to care about any of the characters but they were so thin that there wasn't anything to care about. Phoned in performances from Southerland and Slater were a huge disappointment. Fuck this movie.
August 26, 2014
I like very few direct to video movies but this is certainly one i liked. While some of the acting is a little iffy I cant say I didn't enjoy especially in comparison to The Lone Ranger.
January 14, 2014
An entertaining although low-key Western with good performances.
starlett2005
November 21, 2013
Dawn Rider is a disappointing film. It is about John Mason who is willing to turn the world inside out to find the man responsible after his father is killed. Christian Slater and Donald Sutherland give terrible performances. The script is badly written. Terry Miles did a horrible job directing. I was not impressed with this motion picture.
August 28, 2013
The "F" word is unacceptable in a movie like this, there is no real good reason to have it here.
Dave J
July 25, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013

(2012) Dawn Rider
WESTERN

Another straight-to-rental Christian Slater movie starring in a forgettable western centering on his father getting killed as a result of a group of criminal outlaws attempting to score something big while stealing mail from unsuspecting post offices. The ironic thing is that the father that was just killed also happens to be one of the rustlers dad as well except that he didn't know about that until after he was shot and killed since he was outside guarding the horses. He did however killed the guy who shot him but is still part of the group.

In terms of the shooting scenes in this movie is amongst the worst and the most unconvincing I had ever seen since everybody including the ones who are supposed to be really good all look like lousy shots since they're many close scenes of people shooting at one another at close range and they still miss like how bad is that if a kid in real life can aim better than the adults shown in this film. I stopped at half way before shutting it off and was unable to watch anymore, but I think I'm going to use the fast forward button while playing the rest of the way. Don't bother to waste your time.

Bomb
April 8, 2013
Not good, but I have seen worse. Should have been better with this cast.
December 31, 2012
Terrible. The plot made no sense. Subpar acting. Shallow characters.
jarrad b.
June 29, 2012
A great western with multiple plot threads helping keep the story interesting and vibrant
December 12, 2012
It's what you would expect from a Canadian made, straight to video western. It's quite slow at the beginning but eventually draws you in. One of the few notable aspects of this movie was Locklyn Munro's convincing performance. I am hesitant to recommend this one. Not worth the price of a rental.
December 3, 2012
Unfortunately boring.
filmhipster.com
August 31, 2012
It proposes nothing unique in the western genre and it has its share of tacky moments but this boilerplate rodeo surprisingly ain't half bad...Christian Slater and Donald Sutherland team up for a second time in 2012 but this effort is much better than Assassin's Bullet.
themoviewaffler.com
themoviewaffler.com

Super Reviewer

June 10, 2012
With a western from Tarantino and a big budget "Lone Ranger" adaptation due next year, many are predicting a revival of the genre. Along with horror, it's my favorite genre so I'm hoping this will be the case. Unlike the horror movie, it's very hard to make a bad western. It's a peculiar genre in that the more you exploit it's cliches the better a film you'll produce. There are only a handful of storylines in the western so it gives film-makers a certain freedom. No-one expects any originality in terms of plot thus allowing a focus on character and subtext. Two directors could tell the exact same story as a western but imbue it with two wildly contrasting messages. In the forties, film-makers like Hawks and Ford latched onto the genre for this reason, plucking it out of it's B-movie ghetto and into the arena of respectability.
But of course the genre began simply, telling quaint tales of men in white hats fighting men in black hats on cheaply constructed backlots. This movie harks back more to the B-westerns of the thirties than to the classic era of the fifties or the Spaghettis of the sixties. In fact this is actually a remake of just that, a cheapie from 1935 which starred John Wayne at a time when he was churning these out.
The great news is that director Miles has done justice to the genre on a relatively modest budget. The story of course is nothing new but he gets the best from his cast and uses the stunning British Columbia locations to add an extra dimension of class.
It's a long time since former Young Gun Slater has turned in a decent performance but he seems to be really enjoying his role in this. He gets lots of cheesy lines but delivers them with just the right amount of knowing. It's good to see that Jack Nicholson smirk back in full abandon. Sutherland has a small part but is great as the bounty hunter on Slater's tail. The best performance is courtesy of Hennessy, playing a feisty heroine like a foul mouthed Maureen O'Hara. Some actors are meant for certain genres and Hennessy is a perfect fit for the western.
The sets, locations and costumes will satisfy the most purist of western fans. The Klan-like masks worn by the outlaw gang is a nice homage to the villains of "Django". A jailhouse scene uses the same subtle use of prison bars as Michael Mann's "Manhunter". Though Slater is the captive, it's his jailor who is framed behind the bars, suggesting who is really in control here.
I often criticise digital video as a format because it's all too often used badly. There's a certain skill needed to prevent your movie looking like a porno or a wedding video and cinematographer Norm Li possesses that skill. There are some truly beautiful shots on display, a scene on a bridge particularly striking.
For too long, low budget film-makers have opted for the horror genre but lately we've been seeing something of a revival of the B-western. If it's a choice between a gunfight in the old West or a torture scene in Eastern Europe I know which one I'll pick every time. If the western is coming back you can deputise me now, I'm ready for the big showdown.
Page 1 of 2
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