Ti West’s classic spaghetti-style Western, “In a Valley of Violence,” was something I was seriously looking forward to, and West doesn’t disappoint.
“In a Valley of Violence” is just downright entertaining, with all the tropes of a Sergio Leone-esque gunslinger flick without being gratuitously explicit in the formulaic re-creation of probably the most enduring of all the American genres of filmmaking, besides the gangster flick.
There is a dry humor that refreshingly pervades the film. John Travolta plays the Marshal, with Ethan Hawke as Paul, the stoic stranger, and James Ransone as Gilly, the psychotic villain. The three deliver a well-crafted cocktail of humor, violence and suspense.
The film is classic in its plot: Stranger passes through town with his dog, his anonymity compromised after a challenge to his character. And a wrong is visited upon said stranger that will be recompensed only with blood.
The score is epic. In Ti West fashion (“The House of the Devil”), the kills are gruesome yet oddly tasteful, and the tone is ruthless and funny.
West has taken the heightened reality of the spaghetti Western and made it his own. Go see it.
(At Screenland Crossroads.)
‘In a Valley of Violence’
Rated R. Time: 1:44.