When I think of James Van Der Beek, Rachael Leigh Cook, Ashton Kutcher and Usher, I don't think "Western." In fact, I think Army venereal disease film before I think Western.
Joining this ragtag team of actors is Dylan McDermott, who plays the leader of the Texas Rangers. McDermott's acting skill appears to be inversely proportional to the span between shaves. The longer the fuzz, the worse the acting. When Dylan looks into the camera with his darkened mug and gives us his "serious" face, it makes me want to buy a bottle of manly cologne. Sporting a generous slathering of Brüt, I'm pretty sure I could do what McDermott does -- set my jaw and strike that masculine pose that says "hold my package, baby." Van Der Beek and Kutcher play Lincoln Rogers Dunnison and George Durham respectively. Watching Kutcher act is like witnessing the God of Bad Acting spite humanity.
This film takes place in Texas ten years after the Civil War, when bandits roamed the land and there was no law. Thus, Leander McNelly (McDermott) puts together the Texas Rangers and tries to bring law and order to the land. Unfortunately, since there's no one available who has actual law enforcement experience, McNeely hires amateurs to help him try and capture a bandit (Alfred Molina). McNeely is dying for some reason, which allows director Steve Miner to have McDermott gasp out a deathbed speech just before he croaks (sort of like Robert Duvall in "Lonesome Dove"), which again, made me want to run right out and marinate myself in an entire vat of Brüt. McDermott moved me that much.
Rachel Leigh Cook plays the daughter of Tom Skerritt, who's a friend to Dylan McDermott's character. I don't know why, but Cook's head looks like a potato that didn't grow quite right. I thought she was going to open her mouth and sprout an entire other mouth like in "Alien". Had she done so, this film might have actually held my interest.
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