Dawn Rider (2012) starring Christian Slater, Jill Hennessy, Donald Sutherland, Ben Cotton, Lochlyn Munro, Kenneth W. Yanko, Claude Duhamel directed by Terry Miles Movie Review

Dawn Rider (2012)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Christian Slater in Dawn Rider (2012)

Dawn of Another Rider

John Mason (Christian Slater - Love Lies Bleeding) has been holed up in a remote cabin for months as he has lawman Cochrane (Donald Sutherland - The Eagle) and his gunmen hunting him down. But when Cochrane shows up and his men blast the cabin John makes his escape through a trap door and heads back home to his father's. But when his father is killed by mask wearing robbers in Sasparilla, Wyoming John despite getting shot in the trouble will stop at nothing till he has got the men who killed his dad. Except John may be in for a surprise when he discovers who the gunmen are.

We all moan about remakes but how about a remake of a remake which had already been remade. Yes this 2012 western "Dawn Rider" is technically a remake of the John Wayne movie of called "Dawn Rider" from 1935 which in turn was a remake of "Galloping Thru" from 1931 but Wayne's "Dawn Rider" itself was remade as "Western Trails" in 1938. In truth whether or not you know your western movies and know it is a remake is neither here nor there as "Dawn Rider" reworks a bog standard western storyline which in some form or another had been used time and again in the course of cinema's long history.

Donald Sutherland in Dawn Rider (2012)

Now I will be honest I am a huge western fan and never pass up on an opportunity to watch one even as in the case of "Dawn Rider" my expectations were seriously low, expectations which have been formed from watching plenty of modern movies which try and pass themselves off as westerns. And in many ways this western which features the names Christian Slater and Donald Sutherland lived up to my low expectations using the recognizable storyline as a vehicle for stylized action. But watched with low expectations and "Dawn Rider" is passable with the action, no matter how over the top it is, being entertaining and the actual styling being better than expected with some reasonably moody shots.

But whilst the action will entertain those just wanting gunfights and the cast whilst not great western actors doing a reasonable job there is little more to it than that. Oh there is some humour built into this version and of course there is some romance in there as you would expect but there is not depth or complexity to it, just pretty shots, big action and some star names.

What this all boils down to is that "Dawn Rider" is not a very good western when you are a western fan and is little more than an exercise in using a traditional western storyline for lots of action. But at the same time when you compare it to other recent western movies it passable delivering purely the simple action and humour for those who seek nothing more than simple western action.