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Blu-ray Review: The Kid

June 26, 2019

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

The directorial debut of Vincent D’Onofrio, The Kid finds the actor reuniting with his The Magnificent Seven co-stars Ethan Hawke and Chris Pratt for another Western, offering a partially fictionalized retelling of the encounters between real life figures Sheriff Pat Garret (Hawke) and Billy the Kid (Dane DeHaan).

This story is set in the early 1880s, and follows Rio Cutler (Jake Schur), a teenaged kid who ends up on the run with his older sister Sara (Leila George). The film opens with Rio shooting their abusive father (Tait Fletcher) to stop him from beating up their mother (Danielle Haynes), a dramatic encounter that leaves both of their parents dead and turns them into fugitives.

Trying to escape their mean uncle, Grant Cutler (Chris Pratt), who wants to get revenge for his brother’s death, Rio and Sara both go into hiding and end up encountering Billy the Kid. When the young outlaw is captured by Sheriff Pat Garrett, the two siblings end up following along as the lawman tries to bring Billy the Kid to justice in New Mexico, but there are complications that ensue along the way.

Sara is insistent that they can’t tell Garrett the real reason they are on the run, lest they end up in trouble with the law. Rio also starts to sympathize with Billy the Kid due to his young age, and these interactions between the characters provides one of the most interesting aspects of The Kid, which mixes elements of historical fact and fiction. The film is a bit slow moving at times, which leads to some pacing problems, and Sara is also made to be a damsel in distress in a way that feels somewhat clichéd. But The Kid still functions as a fairly solid old school Western, with a gritty feel to it that is heightened by the fact that it was shot on location in New Mexico.

The shootouts and moments of action are well staged, and the film is carried by strong performances from its impressive cast. Hawke excels at playing an old school lawman, who has a steady and straight forward approach to pursuing justice; DeHaan makes for a charismatic and unhinged Billy the Kid; and Pratt is almost unrecognizable in a role that presents a drastic departure from the nice guys that he usually plays, buried under facial hair and speaking with a gruff, deepened voice. D’Onofrio does a fine job behind the camera, and he also appears in the film as another sheriff. This is a mostly entertaining Western that is worth seeing based on the strength of its cast.

The Blu-ray also includes a decent “behind the scenes” featurette.

The Kid is a VVS Films release. It’s 100 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: June 25th, 2019

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 27, 2019 6:42 am

    Great cast for this, Hawke, Pratt, DeHaan, will have a look, thanks!

    Like

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