RED ROCK WEST
2010-02-23 11:50:40 Posted By: Lois - Branches
Red Rock West, 1992, Columbia TriStar, Rated R, 98 minutes, directed by George Armitage. RED ROCK WEST is an excellent film noir, edge-of-your-seat thriller starring Nicholas Cage, Dennis Hopper, J.T. Walsh and Lara Flynn Boyle. Michael (Cage) rolls into a sad little western town, Red Rock, as an out of work drifter with a bad leg, following a promise from a friend that he can get work with a drilling crew. He's driven from Texas to Wyoming. As we meet Michael, we see him pass two honesty tests: he does not steal from an open cash box, and he does not lie about his physical condition to a foreman. The soundtrack plays the blues and we start to care about Michael. Out of gas, out of work, and nearly out of money, Michael stops at a bar for coffee. Wayne, the owner, (Walsh) assumes Michael is the Texas hitman he hired to kill his cheating wife Suzanne (Boyle). Michael says he is the hitman and accepts a down payment from Wayne. When Michael informs Suzanne of the hit, she offers him more money to kill her husband. This couple can best be described as deserving each other. It looks like Michael will get paid either way, but then the real hit man, Kyle from Dallas (Hopper) shows up and all bets are off. Dennis Hopper makes a great entrance in a black suit with red shirt, cowboy boots, big hat, and a Texas twang, and the soundtrack changes to country western music. Red Rock West is full of plot twists and turns and a sexual attraction between Michael and Suzanne further complicates the action. Walsh's character is jumpy and nervous, the wind blows, the atmosphere turns ominous, and Michael keeps trying and trying to leave town. Watch for highway signs, trains, and license plates and hope for your favorite hit man to get out of town. Red Rock West holds up to multiple viewings and will appeal to film fans who love thrillers, or westerns, or dark comedy.