“Smart men don’t get married.”
– John Brooder
SYNOPSIS: Four men set out in the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers. – via IMDB
So much yes. Yes, yes, yes. Ryan and Eric both praised and enjoyed this, and usually we see mostly eye to eye, and so I checked it out. I fell in love. What you get is a western horror. I was all for that. It sounded interesting, intriguing, and I was curious to see how they were going to pull this off. Well, flawlessly to say the least. For the majority of the movie, it plays out exactly like a western. No bells and whistles, lots of drama, the desert, men being all hardcore, the like. But just enough time was dedicated in the beginning to set up the fact that there will be room for horror, and the conclusion shifts away from the western a little and focuses on the horror aspect, and this blend is done just perfectly. The cast that carries this movie is fantastic – each member works wonders with the material they are given. You care about them, you worry about their plight, you wish to see what they will accomplish, you wonder about O’Dwyer’s wife, the missing criminal, the official who went missing and the troglodytes that were present that night. Where have they gone? Not to mention that there is humour laced into this once in a while, but it is dark and used sparingly, and in so doing it is effective. The film was shot well, and I loved that slow burn pace. It really set the film and the events up, and played out all the pieces just right. Bone Tomahawk also stays with you quite a while after it is over, so that is really good. The brutality and creepiness of this movie is wonderful, and executed just right – I know that sounds bad, but it isn’t just gratuitous, and it is nasty, so sensitive viewers, be warned. I cannot recommend this highly enough!
What I liked:
- Hood and Siobhan finally getting their thing on. Seriously, I am so freaking over anything that is Carrie related it is insane, so to have him moving on in life is really good.
- Watching Gordon’s collapse after Carrie left. That poor dude so didn’t deserve what he got.
- Matthew Rauch as Clay Burton. I know that I have mentioned him before, and I can see myself mentioning him again time and time again, but this is just something amazing. I don’t think I will ever get over it. I absolutely adore the man, and I would. He is all messed up and creepy and gives me chills. As if this wasn’t bad enough, there was the episode, Armies of One, and he just capped his terrifying iceberg. That whole scene was a thing of pure beauty – the kill, the clean up, the music, the flashbacks…
- The intro. I still really like it, and the hints it gives and the story it tells. It is nice and different and I like that.
- The Banshee Sheriff’s Department. I think the characters are great and were wonderfully cast there, and I think it is really entertaining to watch the way they are totally being changed by Hood.
- Watching Burton observing Rebecca, having no faith.
- Job got so much time in this one, and we got more of a look at him and it was just awesome. Plus there was quite a bit of time dedicated to how unsuspectingly badass he can be.
- Nola Longshadow. I really wish she got more screen time, because she really is quite the complex character with all the potential in the world to be super interesting, and they are working well with that so far.
- Methodic Doubt’s score. It works well with the show and is suiting.
What I didn’t like:
- Again, so much sex all over the show. It does nothing to contribute to the plot or anything like that, it is just there.
- There are still so many fault and inconsistencies laced throughout the show, which is annoying. It is the one thing that really keeps throwing me back off of this.
- Nothing is ever getting done about Hood. Nobody seems to bust him, he is never getting reprimanded, nothing.
- Carrie. Still, nothing changes here. It was great to see less of her, and when we did it was strategically used, which was better. But still, every time she opens her mouth I want to throw something at her for how selfish and silly she is. Ugh.
- Rebecca’s uneven character growth. Sometimes she’s crying, sometimes she misses home, sometimes she thinks she’s badass. It could have just been done so much better and believably, instead it just irritates you quite a bit.
- The ridiculous amounts of cross-cutting that went on here. Don’t abuse that! Do it from time to time. It is like every other damn scene that carried some weight was laced with another one. I was so over it by the end of that. Not cool.
I must say that I definitely thought that this was an improvement over the last season, though there are still plenty flaws within it to deal with. For once, when they brought in FBI Special Agent Jim Racine, I thought that someone was seriously going to turn up the heat. Obviously that didn’t happen, which was a disappointment. But oh well. I suppose we will just have to see what happens thereafter. Naturally, another someone would have to crop up to jeopardize Hood’s identity. This time it was Jason Hood, the real Lucas Hood’s son. It was just weird that Jason was not bothered whatsoever about his father being dead, and got into some shady business with Hood, who just wanted the kid gone. Instead, of course, there was some more extreme crazy drama for us to deal with. Clay Burton thrilled me endlessly, as always. We get to see quite a bit more of him in this season, with some extreme flashbacks that are quite horrific. The more you see of Clay Burton, the scarier the guy becomes. Job and Sugar still entertain me with their sniping at one another the whole time. More subplots started making their appearance here, and I liked that. The show is finally broadening from the Hood/Carrie story and moving on to other things, which means less irritation and more interesting aspects being explored. Hood is definitely quite different since the last altercation with Rabbit, but he is still adamant that he will not leave town. The Neo-Nazi plot that came in concerning Emmett later was cool, and really got me pissy. Argh! I mean seriously now, people drive me insane. I felt so bad for Emmett, and I could totally understand why he did what he did, and all of that set a seriously hardcore chain of events into action. Rebecca and Kai are getting really close, and he is bringing her into the family business – something that I like and dislike. Things are moving way too quickly there, and can we mention that slightly-too-incestuous thing going on between them? The competition between Alex Longshadow and Kai Proctor is just awesome to watch, definitely a very entertaining part of the season. The rivalry is great, their conversations and fights as well as the mad things that they are doing at each other to get one another out of the way and in trouble and payback and all is heavy. Then there is the fact that it is so much better in this season to not see Lucas Hood so ridiculously hung up on Carrie… he is moving on, and it has finally come to pass that he is hooking up with Siobhan, the deputy that works for/with him. I have been waiting for this since season one. And good for Gordon for not just letting Carrie come home and carry on as she pleased, she is actually being held accountable for the crappy way she treated her family, and she still hasn’t told them everything. Each and every time some headway seems to be made, she goes and messes it up again royally, and offers exactly no explanation for it. Goodness, I have no idea why Carries are such central characters to shows and do nothing but irritate the hell out of me. The effects were alright here, but I really think the Carrie and Rabbit story arcs got a little bit convoluted towards the end, and I just wanted to reach through the screen and slap Gordon. I know he is having a really bad time, but he has a family that he needs to care for. I loved finally seeing what went down with Rabbit/Carrie/Lucas, but I must admit that I was extremely underwhelmed after the intense build up that it received. Either way, there were worse ways that it could have gone. It was just a really big deal for nothing. Flaws and all, it seems that the longer you watch Banshee, the better and more entertaining it becomes.
What I liked:
- The intro. Let’s face it, that thing is cool. The pictures actually tell a story, and tie in to the episodes themselves, and it works. Definitely a little more different and unique than I have seen in a while, and it is actually worth watching the opening credits without skipping through them.
- I am going to wax lyrical about Matthew Rauch as Clay Burton, because holy crapsticks. ❤ I know I was told that I would probably love him, but whoa. He is so damn creepy my skin crawls, and he has presence. Whenever he is on screen, you cannot help but be drawn to him. He doesn’t talk, he stares a lot, and he is just plain scary. Mesa likey. Always hovering in the background, always stepping in when you least expect it, Burton is a character I really would love to see more of. He is, hands down, my favourite character of the show, no matter that his speech styles seem limited. Plus bow ties and glasses? I mean really now!
- The cheese. Sometimes it is over the top, sometimes it is awkward, but the cheese in here is handled well. Sometimes things fall flat, but I suppose it is all hit and miss. For the most part, though, it works.
- The flashbacks into Lucas Hood’s past… I know he isn’t really Hood, but we have no other name to work with (yet). Anyway, it was dealt with well, showing us how things are going down at present, then flipping back to show us how he ended up in prison, how he survived, all of it. But never all at once, but never so little that you get frustrated. For the duration of the season you are given crumbs to work with.
- Methodic Doubt’s score for the show. It fits all that is going on.
- Frankie Faison’s Sugar Bates and Hoon Lee’s Job. They are such great characters, and even more entertaining when they get together – always sniping and being nasty and snappy, but they actually really like each other. But God forbid you try to get either to acknowledge it.
- Kai Proctor’s presence in Banshee. It’s cool to know he was Amish growing up, and to see how insanely far removed he has become from certain aspects of the religion and culture is crazy, and yet there are other places where you see he still desperately clings to other pieces of his faith. Initially he is introduced and you think there is potential, then there is this intervening section where, instead of making him the scary big bad that he is, they had these build up lines that fell flat and my eyes were rolling around my head like crazy. But after it was decided what they were going to do with him, Kai became a force to be reckoned with, and Ulrich Thomsen plays him wonderfully.
- The violence. It is crazy and over the top most of the time, making it unrealistic sometimes and then totally mad at other times, but it works for the show, and it actually gives it something extra.
- The cast. I think that everyone did a pretty darn good job all round, I liked that. They were consistent, they all brought something to the show with them, and they handled the material well, cheese and awkwardness and all.
What I didn’t like:
- How ridiculous the villains are. I don’t know, I really thought like a Ukrainian mob boss would be scarier… apparently not. The actor, Ben Cross, looked ridiculous, and Rabbit for a name? I think not.
- The continuity is a joke in this show. I had a massive gripe with this, I can’t help it. If you get into some huge and elaborate fight with an MMA fighter, and you are beat to within an inch of your life, you are not going to look like sunshine and roses in a week. Seriously. This is only complaining on the flaws with the injuries, we are not even talking about all these random things that are introduced, made a big scene of and then disappear, and it never gets explored later, so there is no use filing it away.
- How Lucas Hood just gets away with everything that is happening. How is no one really getting down and dirty investigating his unruliness, lack of complete knowledge on the law and cowboy ways? When is anyone seriously going to question the dude? Also, for instance, the videos this man is featured in (the big MMA fight I was bitching about above), how has nobody (I mean he was incarcerated for fifteen damn years – there are a lot of people he would have interacted with) seen him on TV and blown his cover wide open? Is he never going to get bust for being a false Sheriff?
- Anna/Carrie/whatever the hell you want to call her. Dear goodness, that is one selfish bitch. She irritates me on a mild Carrie Mathison level (and no, I am not missing the fact they share the same name). She cares only about herself, herself, herself. I like how she tries to hide it under the façade of looking after the “kids” and all that jazz. What she puts her husband through is unacceptable. When things got too serious and Rabbit was back, her husband and family deserved to know what the hell was going on. But NO. That is a serious inconvenience to her. But I have to give Ivana Milicevic credit for doing a great job to evoke such feelings!
- The excessively useless amount of sex scenes. I have no issues with sex scenes, I really don’t, but so many of them in here just felt forced and carried on for far too long and didn’t help much for the plot. They were like… pervy filler scenes. It was too indulgent.
- I really wish that Kai and Burton got more screen time. They are the really interesting lot, and I want to see more about them.
This came in highly recommended for me to check out, especially if I like violence and unique kills. Obviously I was all for it and got to it in a hurry. Now, there is a lot that the show does right and a lot that the show does wrong, which makes the first season a bit of a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed it and I was engrossed by it, but there were some things that had me rolling my eyes. I think the biggest thing here is that this feels like every bit the pilot season that it is. It is worth the gamble, and is well worth checking out if you don’t totally hate a lot of blood and plenty boobs and sex laced throughout the show. There is some engaging drama, some irritating characters, and some that are purely evil, and others that completely captivate and own the screen when they are on it. I think that Ulrich Thomsen’s Kai Proctor is a fascinating character. He was introduced with a bit of a rock start, but goodness me, when the writer’s got down to it and stopped stuffing around, they got him. Some guy totally worth running the town. I really liked the whole Amish aspect that they brought in here, it gives Kai a lot more depth, and it doesn’t take front and centre of the show, though it is important. I have already spoken about how much I love Burton, so I am not going to again, but he is the best. His loyalty to Kai is something I really hope that the show will explore in more depth. I think it ironic and silly at the best of times that Hood seems to be sleeping with all the women of Banshee, and that they all seem to want to get laid and move on, no more, no less. I think Carrie treated her family very unfairly, and I think Gordon was justified in losing his cool and demanding answers, and his frustration of not getting them was palpable. It is a pity, because he and Hood worked so well together initially. But then Carrie had to wreck that. Now, on to the other things. There is an excess of violence in Banshee, and it is something I enjoy. Yes, bizarre, but who doesn’t like some blood and gore and testosterone once in a while? I am a big fan of Hoon Lee’s work, and his Job never fails to have me in stitches, time and time again. He is worth the watch every second he is on screen, and I am particularly glad that they have not overused him or anything like that. Rabbit really is a disappointment from me, I really expected someone far more terrifying, and the name Rabbit just had me quaking in my boots, you must know. I wish the Deva story line would pick a direction now, because there is nothing to really explain her, and she is on a downward spiral before the whole Rabbit thing, and it would just be nice if they picked a direction to take her character, as well as Hood’s interest in her. Banshee is a really good watch if you want balls to the wall fun, entertainment and action all round, though at times the story does suffer for it. Flaws and all though, Banshee is an engaging watch and will keep you interested. Plus Burton. He alone should sell this whole show to you. Because.