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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Cowboy Up (2001)

After serious injuries that almost killed him, a rodeo bull rider (Marcus Thomas) against the advice of his doctors returns to the rodeo. It's in his blood as both his father (Pete Postlethwaite) and older brother (Kiefer Sutherland)  were also in the rodeo. Directed by Xavier Koller, the film has an authentic feel for the rodeo circuit but its protagonist is an arrogant jerk who causes heartbreak to a lot of people. In order to make this character remotely palatable, one would need a very strong and charismatic actor and Marcus Thomas just ain't him. The movie isn't much more than atmosphere as its characters are pretty stock. Sutherland is pretty good as the older brother as is Daryl Hannah as a sexually predatory barrel racer but both Molly Ringwald as Thomas's girlfriend and Melinda Dillon as his mother are wasted. If a stronger actor had been cast in the lead role, this might have been a pretty decent movie instead of a routine one. With Bo Hopkins and Russell Means.

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