This year has been uncharacteristically packed with westerns, none better than Ti West’s In A Valley Of Violence. No other genre title has been able to balance gleeful gallows humor with a gritty blast of revenge quite like West’s quick-draw killer, not even Antoine Fuqua’s blockbuster The Magnificent Seven. My review out of this year’s South by Southwest festival discusses more of the aspects that make the director’s Wild West John Wick so damn fun, as the film garnered a mostly positive reception, which is no surprise for those who have seen it.
A stacked cast plays around in West’s dusty, rugged playground, featuring Ethan Hawke as the film’s vengeful protagonist. John Travolta stars as a “peacekeeping” marshal, James Ransone his devious son, Taissa Farmiga as a feisty little southern dame – plus Karen Gillan, Larry Fessenden, Burn Gorman and Jumpy the dog! Every actor exudes that grimy, Wild West gruffness with such believable vigor, inviting viewers into a world where mongrels and dastardly types made the most of corrupt lawlessness. Hawke’s mission is one of revenge, ensuring that every single man pays for the death of his beloved pooch, who was his most loyal friend.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Hawke while he was doing press for In A Valley Of Violence here in New York City earlier this week. Given his participation in two of this year’s better western films (playing Goodnight Robicheaux in The Magnificent Seven), questions of differentiation between projects were hard to avoid. We chatted about how Ti West was able to give his film such a large feel despite smaller budgeting, his opinion on the western resurgence of late and why horror filmmakers can flip to any genre. As always, Mr. Hawke’s answers were intelligent and insightful, making me wish I had all day to chat about one of the more entertaining films I’ve seen this year.
Hear what the actor had to say in the video above and be sure to check out In A Valley Of Violence when it opens in theatres this weekend!