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The Old Way Blu-ray Review

“The Old Way” is watchable but all too familiar.

2023’s western film “The Old Way” begins with a gunslinger (Colton Briggs) defending himself by murdering a man in front of his son (James). 20 years pass and Colton is a changed man. He has a wife and daughter and he runs a mercantile and trading company. Alas, his past comes back to haunt him when James and his 4 men kill his wife. Filled with vengeance, Colton embarks on a journey with his daughter (Brooke) to get revenge against those who killed his wife.

Directed by Brett Donowho and written by Carl W. Lucas, “The Old Way” doesn’t exactly break new ground. It’s a straight up revenge western that plays like a cross between “True Grit” and “Unforgiven.” The presence of Nicolas Cage is clearly the main point of interest here. One of the reasons you watch a Cage movie is to see what kind of Cage performance you will get. He’s such an unpredictable and enigmatic actor which is what makes him so fascinating to watch. Alas, this won’t go down as one of his finer performances. The character of Colton Briggs is gruff and stiff and Cage often seems like he’s trying to channel Clint Eastwood. There are moments of humor sprinkled in here and there though which livens the character up. What really makes the movie worth watching is Cage’s chemistry with the daughter character Brooke that is wonderfully played by Ryan Kiera Armstrong (who appeared in last year’s “Firestarter”). The father-daughter dynamic is the film’s strong suit and it would have actually been nice to see even more of their bond especially during the sluggish middle act where Carl W. Lucas bides his time until the climactic confrontation.

For as much screen time as the villains get, there’s not much to their characters. While it’s nice to see Clint Howard and Abraham Benrubi (from “Open Range”), the main villain James (played by Noah Le Gros) is neither threatening or remotely layered. If anything, he’s miscast to the max.

Production wise, this is a step up from a lot of indie westerns. The cinematography by Sion Michel is quality, the shootouts are reasonably well done, and the sets, props and costumes are respectable. The film could do without the distracting cheesy score by Andrew Morgan Smith though.


Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? A crystal clear transfer through and through.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The dialogue is a bit low for my liking, but otherwise this is a decent track.

* Digital copy
* 2 commentary tracks. One by director Brett Donowho and one by composer Andrew Morgan Smith.
* 3 scoring sessions.
* “The Old Way Behind The Scenes”- A 14 minute featurette with film clips, set footage, interviews, character discussions and more. 


February 17, 2023 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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