An outlaw calls a man out for tampering with his horse – only to find out there’s nary a pistol in town. You can’t have a showdown with an unarmed man! This north of the border Wild West tale had me in stitches!
I love Paul Gross. Love him. I loved him in Due South and I was so impressed with Passchendaele (despite the Oscar ending rather than the Hollywood ending, and yes, I’m still bitter about that). So when I heard that he was in a new movie – and that he played an outlaw – I knew that I had to see it. So one afternoon my writer friend Julianne MacLean and I headed to the theatre to sneak in a matinee.
Gross plays The Montana Kid, who after a failed attempt at being hanged (never hang a man from a dead tree branch) ends up in Barclay’s Brush. He doesn’t realize he’s crossed the border into Canada, and his mere presence puts the town’s residents (all dozen or so of them) in a state of excitement. Within minutes he’s challenged the town smithy to a shootout – except Mr. Montana Kid has the only pistol in town. Well, almost. You see, the widow Jane has a pistol. It’s broken, but wouldn’t you know it’s the blacksmith that sets out to fix it. In the meantime, Jane exchanges the pistol for some hard labour on the farm. The Montana Kid is dirty. I mean really dirty. And he’s rough around the edges. And of course, there’s a bounty on him.
It has all the making of a gritty western, but it’s not. It’s firmly tongue in cheek. If there’s one thing we seem to be able to do in Canada, it’s not take ourselves too seriously. So when the Kid gets cleaned up, it’s hard not to snicker when he reappears from the Chinese laundry wearing this:
It takes a special kind of man to get away with that particular shade of purple. And silk. Especially with the long hair.
Come to find out his real name is Sean, and this hardened outlaw is no match for Jane, played by Sienna Guillory. Add in the town doctor, who is very adept at removing bullets from posteriors, an unflappable Indian (played by the always wonderful Graham Greene) and a host of Mounties (including one particularly fresh-faced man in red serge who is quite sweet on Jane as well) and there are some true gems. We have horses and donkeys, a sweet school marm and a pair of bumbling “boys” quite awestruck at having a real live outlaw in their midst.
And yes – we must get back to the baddie. I was thrilled to see that Callum Keith Rennie was playing Ben Cutler. I like Callum a lot – most recently as Leoben in Battlestar Galactica and as Lew Ashby in Californication.
It goes without saying that two things needed to happen in this movie – there has to be a shootout, and the guy has to get the girl.
Check out the trailer if you don’t believe me. I guarantee you’ll have a giggle!