Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 9.09%
Just Average72.73%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 18.18%

1 review, 5 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Great Battle, The by Jay Seaver

True Fiction by Jay Seaver

Pick of the Litter by Jay Seaver

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Peter Sobczynski

House With A Clock In Its Walls, The by Peter Sobczynski

Life Itself (2018) by Peter Sobczynski

Unity of Heroes by Jay Seaver

Hanagatami by Jay Seaver

Predator, The by Jay Seaver

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed

Texas Rangers
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"James Van Der Beek: The new John Wayne! (Just kidding.)"
3 stars

As old-fashioned shoot-'em-up Westerns go, "Texas Rangers" is not bad. Aside from being in color and starring James Van Der Beek, it is hardly different at from the dusty old flicks that starred the likes of John Wayne or Glenn Ford. No one in "Texas Rangers" ever actually says, "This town ain't big enough for the two of us," but you can tell they want to.

James Van Der Beek plays Lincoln Rogers Dunnison, an educated Philadelphia transplant whose family is killed by cattle rustlers in 1875, prompting him to join the newly re-formed Texas Rangers. The Rangers are led by Leander McNelly (Dylan McDermott), a former preacher who suffered trauma in the Civil War and is now hell-bent on punishing the wicked before he dies. Dunnison becomes McNelly's right-hand man, urging moderation against McNelly's kill-them-all-let-God-sort-them-out brand of justice.

I just realized I made the emotional conflicts in the movie sound more interesting than they actually are. Sorry about that. In truth, those elements are in place, but the film doesn't do much with them. Why develop the Flawed Hero theme when it's so much easier to put white hats on the good guys, black hats on the bad guys, and let the Laws of Westerns take effect?

The bad guy here is King Fisher (Alfred Molina), a weaselly man whose band of marauders pillages the Texas frontier and makes shady deals with Mexico. At one point, they happen upon a traveling Mexican circus -- which consists of one tiger -- and force a woman to juggle in order to save her own life. If she drops the balls, it's curtains for her!

Now I have committed the opposite mistake. I made that juggling thing sound LESS stupid than it is in the movie. Again, I apologize.

There's a racist Ranger whose life gets saved by a black guy. Also in accordance with tradition, there is a woman who appears half-way through the movie whom all the guys lust after. She is played by Rachael Leigh Cook, just so you know.

I suppose I should also mention Ashton Kutcher, who plays Dunnison's buddy George Durham. Except I don't know what to say about him, because I don't know what purpose he serves in the movie. He just hangs around acting "Dude, Where's My Car?"-ish, while James Van Der Beek stands around looking all Van Der Beeky. If you had a contest to name the two male celebrities least-suited to appearing in a Western, the only ones who would beat Van Der Beek and Kutcher would be Jim J. Bullock and Flipper.

Bad casting aside, there's something strange about this film that wins you over after a while. The plot is steady without being overly predictable, and I confess to actually being surprised by it once or twice. It's an unobtrusive movie, one that does its thing with enthusiasm and doesn't annoy you too much in the process. It won't win any prizes, but for fans of old-time Westerns, it may be a pleasant-enough diversion.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1965&reviewer=247
originally posted: 12/03/01 13:07:24
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

4/01/05 Steve Newman Dont waste your time or money watching this - truly poor 1 stars
6/08/03 Charles Tatum Not only atrociously acted and written, it wasn't shot in Texas!! (Alberta and Mexico?!?!) 1 stars
1/08/03 Frontier Psychiatrist Surprisingly not bad, like Eric said. Doesn't pull punches, despite bad comedy bits. Decent 3 stars
4/26/02 JesseL A good western. Kind of different. 4 stars
12/04/01 TimmyTomorrow I didn't even know this was out yet. 3 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  30-Nov-2001 (PG-13)
  DVD: 12-Apr-2011


  16-May-2002 (PG)

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast