In a Valley of Violence (2016)48K
In a Valley of Violence: Directed by Ti West. With Ethan Hawke, John Travolta, Taissa Farmiga, James Ransone. A mysterious stranger and a random act of violence drag a town of misfits and nitwits into the bloody crosshairs of revenge.
“At least u0026quot;In a Valley of Violenceu0026quot; is not as agonizingly predictable as the directoru0026#39;s previous waste of time. I am someone who believes that a movie without one single moment you couldnu0026#39;t imagine after reading a one sentence, or even one word, description of the plot, is a movie you have no reason to watch.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHow is it that you know the name Ti West? A guy whose movies are as formulaic as these should be directing episodes of Big Bang Theory. But he does do them well, and gives his superior actors room to breathe. The problem is that he u0026quot;writesu0026quot; these movies himself – if you can call stringing a bunch of clichés together u0026quot;writingu0026quot;.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis is a movie that is so predictable that you donu0026#39;t notice the genre clichés that would have rubbed you wrong in a better movie, i.e.. the main character being the typical hard-bitten and reluctant hero type who doesnu0026#39;t say much, who never intended to draw steel but ended up being forced to. And how about the town being basically just two rows of houses with a u0026quot;main streetu0026quot; running down the middle? Is there a u0026quot;saloonu0026quot; with rooms to rent upstairs? How about a plucky young heroine who dreams of escape and thinks the hero might be her ticket out? He doesnu0026#39;t take her at first. Of course.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eNo, it was the smaller details that rubbed me wrong. For example: before killing his first victim, why does the typically terse hero suddenly become insanely verbose, rabbiting on like someone who has truly lost control of himself? What was the point of the speech where he outlines exactly what heu0026#39;s doing as if it wasnu0026#39;t already completely obvious, not only to the audience, but also the victim? And when the bad guy has the plucky heroine up against the wall with a gun to her throat, and he begins threatening her, what does she do next? Her response is engraved in stone, alongside the u0026quot;all towns in Westerns are just two rows of houses with a street down the middleu0026quot; rule, in a tablet enshrined in the Screenwritersu0026#39; Guild bathroom. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhen the camera focused on the heroineu0026#39;s determined eyes in the climax, I cringed. This is West relying not only on cliché, but on the trend of the day: girl power.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHaving read this far, you might wonder why I didnu0026#39;t give the film a lower rating. The answer is that for all the predictability, u0026quot;In a Valley of Violenceu0026quot; has actors who you canu0026#39;t help watching and rooting for, especially Taissa Farmiga, one of the best young actors in the world, who gives this tired material more energy than it deserves.”