Father and son playing father and son is one of the key attractions to this slow moving western set in 1872 Wyoming, USA. Donald and Kiefer Sutherland take the leads, teaming up as a preacher and his estranged son who returns home to make peace with his father.
The son is John Henry Clayton, a renowned gunslinger who is feared by all. The father is the local reverend, widowed and afraid for his family’s future. When John arrives back in his hometown of Fowler, he finds that a criminal gang is buying up all the properties by force. Determined to leave violence behind him, John’s lack of action gives the gang licence to continue their takeover, leading to the very obvious and violent conclusion in the last 10 minutes of the film.
The predictable relationships and characters, combined with Jon Cassar’s glacial and unbelievable plot means nothing of interest stands out. Any attempt at originality is forsaken in lieu of stereotypes and clichés. There’s nothing new here, wasting the talents of a fine cast that also includes Demi Moore, Brian Cox and Michael Wincott.
Knowing from the start how things are going to end shoots down any hope of intrigue or tension, and the finale is over too fast to offer any real excitement.
Fans of westerns may enjoy this throwback to the heyday of the genre circa 1950 – 1970, but Forsaken doesn’t stack up to the likes of 1953’s cult film Shane, from which it takes its inspiration.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 5
Forsaken will be released on Blu-ray and DVD from 18 August 2016.