BWW Review: 'JUSTICE' Brings Revenge Back to the Old West
JUSTICE takes us back to the Old West where outlaws reigned and lawmen rode heroically into town to stop them. While JUSTICE does have noticeable flaws, the film tells a decent story of revenge against a corrupt government official and his gang of evil mercenaries. So, the usual when it comes to westerns. JUSTICE stars Stephan Lang (Avatar, Don't Breathe), Nathan Parsons ("General Hospital", "The Originals"), Jamie-Lynn Sigler ("The Sopranos", "Entourage"), Jackson Rathbone ("The Twilight Sage") and Academy Award nominee Quinton Aaron ("The Blide Side"). Directed by Richard Gabai.
The Civil War has been over for a few years now, but there is a town, well, not so much the townfolk but the corrupt mayor (Lang), who still clings to the hope of a Confederate revival and has been making plenty of dastardly deals in the process. With his band of bloodthirsty outlaws, the mayor hopes to reignite the war after turning his town into a military stronghold, killing anyone who gets in his way, including a priest. When a US Marshall (Parsons) rides into town to search for his priestly brother only to find him dead, his search for the killer points him towards the mayor and into a fight he didn't see coming. Yet it is a fight he is willing to die for.
The acting in this film is surprisingly stale and cliched. I say 'surprisingly" because these are a veteran group of actors that should be able to breathe life into their roles, no matter the quality of the script. Not to say JUSTICE is terribly acted, just that I expected more. Stephen Lang of course, brought his usual gravitas to his role, but the overall performance from the cast should have been livelier. But what we really care about in a western is the action, and while some of the production value is a little off, you still get to enjoy plenty of fist-fights, gun-fights and a good old-fashioned showdown in this film.
While the movie is a bit "by-the-numbers", there is a little heart to JUSTICE. The film, amplified by the somewhat decent musical score, is a western that is not focused on snazzy camerawork and huge explosions. Rather it wants to tell a story about brothers separated by their differences who find their way back to one another through tragedy. While there are big-budget westerns that are far superior to JUSTICE, the film offers what it was designed to do, entertain. And that is a quality that seems to be lacking nowadays.