Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Cinematic Injustice: "Outlaw Justice" (1999)

Waylon Jennings, looking like Joe Spinell, is killed off in the first scene of this half baked western. He is the lucky one.

His son, Chad Willett, decides to take revenge on Jennings' killer, a former member of Jennings' outlaw gang. Willett is joined by two other former outlaw gang members Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, making like Abbott and Costello, and they ride after the bland villain, taking poor Travis Tritt (a third gang member).

Nelson and Kristofferson do the same old TV western movie routine they have been doing for years- flat delivery, down home humorous bickering, and goofy grins. Tritt tries what he can, relying on all the acting chops he earned in his music videos. He has onscreen charisma, it would be interesting to see what a professional director might mold with him. Willett, probably the only real actor here, is okay. After getting killed, Jennings does what he does best- voiceover, as his son reads his diary.

The Unmagnificent Four get involved in little nonthreatening scrapes here and there on their way to meet the villain. They are held up, but get their stuff back with the help of some friendly Native Americans they helped save. Willett finds romance, because if you are young and cute in a western, you must fall in love. Of course, that philosophy does not explain how Nelson manages to do the same thing. He falls for a local senorita in a town where the villain burned down the church. These happy outlaws help rebuild the church in one of those saccharine scenes that must be seen to be believed. The actual climactic shootout is dull, thanks to some really bland direction. At one point, Willett has a perfect opportunity to finish the villain off, thereby sparing Mexico and the audience from further torture, but he does not! The added "mystery" about the true identity of Willett's real father is never resolved, either!

This is just dumb entertainment for people who find "F Troop" too deep. I am warning you now, Nelson has a bathtub scene. No nudity, but proceed with caution. "Outlaw Justice" is an injustice. (*) out of five stars.