LAST MAN STANDING (1996 US) D/W/P: WALTER HILL P: ARTHUR SARKISSIAN
It's another version of YOJIMBO (Kurosawa gets an original story credit) but is closer in spirit to Dashiell Hammett's classic trend-setting 1929 hardboiled novel Red Harvest (Kurosawa's supposed influence), with a lot of FISTFUL OF DOLLARS thrown in. Bruce Willis is a drifter who drives into a small Texas bordertown during Prohibition and plays rival Chicago syndicate bootlegger gangs against each other. Christopher Walken is a scarred hitman and Bruce Dern is the lazy corrupt Sheriff. But the biggest surprise is David Patrick Kelley, who's great as one of the gang bosses. But it's not a very inspired action movie that borrows from better westerns, film noir and Hong Kong heroic bloodshed entries. With William Sanderson, Michael Imperioli, Ken Jenkins, Patrick Kilpatrick, Reiner Schone, Lin Shaye, Thomas Rosales Jr. and Michael Lerner. They did't use Tiny Ron much. Music by Ry Cooder. We are still waiting for a solid, official Red Harvest adaptation (the closest we've got is MILLER'S CROSSING), but Hammett's other Continental Op novel did become THE DAIN CURSE.

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