Personally, I felt refreshed. I don't think that Fleder's film is necessarily more honourable or responsible than, say, Pulp Fiction, simply because it's more compassionate. And it's certainly not accomplished. After all, the resolve and dignity of its marked men are a little fraudulent - Lloyd's elegiac speech reminded me of the way characters in TV movies always assume a glowing articulacy and steely pride during their death-bed monologues. But it's the audacity of the brew that satisfies. The fact that Rosenberg and Fleder have married two disparate genres and created something that's funny when you expect it to be cruel, romantic instead of nihilistic and philosophical rather than visceral.
And even if you're not charmed or haunted, you'll surely appreciate that the picture marks a certain progression. It takes the poignancy of Peckinpah, rather than the bloodshed; there's even a hint of Altman's McCabe and Mrs Miller about the clash of eras. Which is not to suggest that it approaches those directors' profundity. Just that it's nice to encounter young film- makers whose Year Zero isn't 1994.Reuse content