Review

Synopsis:

Legendary lawman and gunslinger, Wild Bill Hickok, is tasked with taming the wildest cow-town in the west. While delivering his own brand of frontier justice, the infamous gunfighter’s reputation as the fastest draw in the west is put to the test.

Review:

After the Civil War has made Bill Hickok (Luke Hemsworth) somewhat of a legend, Bill finds himself wandering, looking for a purpose. He ends up in a small town without a dollar to his name, and after quelling an ugly situation before it gets out of hand, the mayor (Kris Kristofferson) offers him a job as the marshal of the town. This doesn’t sit well with Poe (Trace Adkins), the corrupt local saloon owner who sees “Wild Bill” as too straight of an arrow for his taste, so first he tries to bribe him with payoff money to leave his business alone, and when that doesn’t work, he hires toughs to eliminate him. That doesn’t go over well either: “Wild Bill” is a better and sharper gunslinger than anyone Poe sends his way, and when Poe finds out that his fiancé Mattie (Cameron Richardson) used to be Hickok’s lover long ago, Poe throws everything he’s got at “Wild Bill.”

From hard working under-the-radar director Timothy Woodward Jr., the modestly produced Hickok looks and sounds better than most low budget movies these days, particularly the westerns that have been coming out of the woodwork over the last few years. I very much enjoyed Woodward Jr.’s western Traded with Michael Pare, and though Hickok isn’t up to par with that one, it’s certainly a better viewing experience than his other films 4Got10, Decommissioned, and Weaponized. His cast for Hickok is fairly impressive and recalls the glory days of when Kenny Rogers was still making made-for-TV westerns like The Gambler. He managed to get Kris Kristofferson and Bruce Dern to show up for small roles, and those guys are always welcome in westerns, no matter how big or small. Star Hemsworth is okay in the lead, and Adkins has been showing up a lot in these little westerns, most recently in the comparable Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story. I can’t say I loved Hickok, but it’s better than it has any right to be. The pacing is a little slow and the script is flat, but it does what it sets out to do, and fans of westerns should enjoy it.

Hickok is available on a 4K Ultra HD / Blu Ray combo pack from Cinedigm.



About the Author

david j. moore

david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and the upcoming book The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars, coming April, 2016 from Schiffer Publishing.