‘Hostiles’ Review

HostilesHostiles is a Western written and directed by Scott Cooper and stars Christian Bale,  Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Ben Foster, Stephen Lang, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, Adam Beach, Q’orianka Kilcher, and Timothée Chalamet. The story follows a U.S. Cavalry officer who must escort a Cheyenne war chief and his family back to their home in Montana in 1892. Scott Cooper does a great job at directing many of the scenes in this film. He manages to both capture the characters’ emotions and thoughts during the scenes in which there is no dialogue. The costume design and makeup in the film is fantastic and gives the audience a feel for what it was like in the Western United States during the late 19th century. The cinematography in this film is beautiful showing off the vast deserts, plains, forests, and mountains of the American West. Each scene is visually stunning and stands apart from one another. Christian Bale turns in a good performance as Captain Joseph Blocker. The character is beaten, tired, and full of hate for Native Americans. After fighting them for years he is ready for retirement and begrudgingly agrees to complete the escort duty to ensure this happens. Bale does a great job of channeling his anger in a calm and reserved fashion. Rosamund Pike is also good as Rosalie Quaid, an unstable widow who accompanies Captain Blocker on his escort. Rosalie is a broken woman who also harbors hatred for Native Americans after her family was murdered by a group of Comanche. Pike brings so much depth to the character as Rosalie is dealing with the loss and pain and thoughts of what to do with her life. Wes Studi is good as the Cheyenne war chief Yellow Hawk. He has lived long and fought many battles against the U.S. military and at this point in his life, he has decided to let go of all the hate he once carried. Studi is calm and fearless in his portrayal of the stoic chief. The supporting cast is fine, but their performances do not stick out as very interesting. Some of the pacing and editing is a bit off and causes the film to feel disjointed at times and lag in the middle. The film could do without the scenes involving Ben Foster’s character because they take away from the interaction between the Blocker and Yellow Hawk. I give a Hostiles a Normal 6.1/10. This film is an interesting albeit lacking look into the Old West.

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