Friday, 2 June 2017
It's almost impressive that they could make a movie about undead cowboys this boring.
Gallowwalkers features Wesley Snipes in the lead role, and production was heavily delayed by the star's tax trouble. It ultimately spent three years in production, then another two sitting on a shelf somewhere until it finally found distribution.
Now with heritage like that it's probably not surprising that the film has flaws. Some of these are to pretty much inevitable in the circumstances: the large number of scenes where we can't actually see the fact of Snipes' character, for instance, is understandable enough given that the man was often unavailable for shooting. Even the clumsiness of the narrative - large exposition dumps, subsidiary characters that occupy a lot of screen time but don't seem to actually contribute to the plot at all, long diversions away from Snipes - might well be a result of frantic re-writes to account for the star's absence.
On the other hand, the poor execution of the action sequences and the complete lack of tension in the final denouement, are just bad film-making. The flatness and lack of spark in the action is particularly irksome since you can see that they had some interesting ideas for stunts: things that should have been exciting and dramatic but simply aren't, because the cinematography and editing isn't up to standard.
About the only thing in the film that is up to standard, in fact, is the costume design. There are some pretty cool-looking (if not necessarily very practical) outfits. So good work, Pierre Vienings, and hang your head in shame, everyone else.