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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

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Richland Chronicle 5/07/24
Richland Chronicle 5/07/24

ONLINE ONLY: The fickle Western horse Kevin Costner rides

Despite naysayers, I say giddyap for ‘Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1’
Kevin Costner directs the film and plays Hayes Ellison in “Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1.” (Photo/IMDb.com)

I may be one of the only critics who have a positive opinion of “Horizon:  An American Saga – Chapter 1.” It has gotten a lot of bad reviews and publicity as well.

Kevin Costner, who directs, stars and co-wrote this epic tale of the Old West, looks fit as a fiddle in his role and his Western garb.  In the old days we would call him a matinee idol, but at 69 he’s aged way past that description.  This is a dream project for Costner, who believes in this scheduled four-chapter movie saga so much that he invested a reported $38 million of his own money to bring it to the big screen.

Shifting back to his Old West roots of “Dances with Wolves” (1990) and “Silverado” (1985), Costner has an affinity for Westerns.  What I like about the first episode of “Horizon” is that it is grittier than some and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to story and technique.  For instance, they kill off a lot of characters with untimely deaths in this tale.

Costner, the former star of the modern TV Western “Yellowstone,” knows what he’s doing in this saga because he takes a bunch of characters in different directions.  In a time that covers expansion into the West of settlers after the Civil War, “Horizon” features a segment where Native Americans kill off a portion of a family of settlers.

Many would expect an epic adventure such as this to drag at some point, but I didn’t take my eyes off the screen for the entire 3 hours and 1 minute.  I was that enthralled by the action and the story.

This first chapter of “Horizon” is a movie I admired and respected.  I don’t expect to ever watch it again, however, because the experience is too exhausting to sit through a second time.

I encourage everyone to see this sprawling Western drama in a theater on a big screen.  This is not the kind of movie to watch on your TV at home, or on an iPad or tablet.

I’m a big dork, but I love to see movies in a theater.  It’s their natural habitat.  I’m looking forward to “Horizon:  An American Saga – Chapter 2,” which was scheduled to be released Aug. 16.  According to multiple reports, including AP and The New York Times, New Line Cinema pulled Costner’s second chapter from its release schedule on July 10.  No new release date has been announced.

Grade:  A-

 

This review was updated July 11 to include reports that New Line Cinema has pulled “Horizon:  An American Saga – Chapter 2” from its release schedule.

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