The Sisters Brothers – 5

What a strange movie! The rambling plot could best be described as, A Day in the Life of Two Cold-blooded Gunslingers, c. 1851, Who Happened to be Brothers, Although You Wouldn’t Have Guessed It. The main narrative, the pursuit of an alchemist named Herman, petered out two-thirds of the way; then the climactic High Noon showdown evaporated completely when the target died prematurely of natural causes. What we were left with were some beautiful scenes of the (Spanish) West, some unresolved subplots involving horses and girlfriends, and an unconvincing relationship between the Sisters brothers: hard-as-nail Joaquin Phoenix and soft-as-butter John C. Reilly, neither terribly smart but both apparently impervious to gunfire. When there are three people in the theater, including two of us, at the 8 pm show, you wonder how and why a film like this gets made.

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