Texas Rangers Movie Review
Most studio executives have realized that western action movies are no longer the popular thing they once were, but obviously not all of them. Granted 2001's other western movie, American Outlaws, was a little better than expected - but still nothing to scream about - what did they expect from Texas Rangers? Well, hopefully they foresaw the same thing that I did, a long-delayed, poorly-written, bad-acted, and non-exciting flop that wasn't even released in over a 1000 theaters nationwide.
Texas Rangers has a plot that is pretty self explanatory by the title, so I won't go into it too much. Of course, the hero's parents die so there is some reason for him to join the Rangers, the bandit who killed them doesn't have an ounce of good anywhere in his body, and... Well, that's about it.
Basically, the movie goes from action scene to action scene, which usually wouldn't be bad if the movie was interesting enough to hold my attention. Unfortunately, it isn't, so, as extensive as the shootout sequences are, after you see one, you've seen 'em all. Lots of people die, but Texas Rangers is so conservative that there is barely an ounce of blood in the whole film (dead people hanging from trees is the most graphic this movie gets). It's really quite strange, because Texas Rangers itself is quite dark, featuring a captain who doesn't mind killing his captives, a hero bent on revenge, and a whole menagerie of characters dying one right after the other. It's as if the screenwriter wanted an R-rated action-drama, and the director wanted a PG spaghetti western.
The screenplay is where the movie really starts to feel its own pain. Sure, the action scenes are nothing to scream about, but I probably would have liked them had I cared who was winning and who was losing. The dialogue is just unforgettable. The script features every cheesy and cliche thing about westerns, like "reckon" and "ain't." The characters are even worse. No compassion was felt for any of the characters, even the comedic one played by "That 70's Show" Ashton Kutcher. Not for one second did Texas Rangers feel suspenseful, because I just didn't give a damn about any of the characters. Did I repeat myself in those last two sentences? Yes, but I'm trying to get my point across.
Even worse than the screenplay is the acting, which is downright bad. James Van Der Beek doesn't do that bad of a job, but you still know you're in trouble when a supposedly serious film stars the main character from TV's most laughable drama, "Dawson's Creek." You definitely know you're in trouble when his sidekick is Ashton Kutcher, who is good in "That 70's Show" as a silly dumbass, but who can't possibly expect to pull off the same character in an action movie, which he does try to do. "The Practice's" Dylan McDermott is also here, and while I did hold him at a level higher than the other television stars in the movie, I might have to reconsider, since he is downright terrible. Somehow Robert Patrick also got involved (how did they get all of these people?) but his character isn't around enough to criticize one way or another. Tom Skerritt also has a small part, along with She's All That's Rachel Leigh Cook, who is the female interest of the story even though she has nothing to do with the plot whatsoever (and is barely in the movie).
Texas Rangers was delayed for at least a year, and that is an indicator of the quality of the film. Sure enough, it was just as bad - if not worse - than expected.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.