Blackthorn (15)

Directed by Mateo Gil
Written by Miguel Barros
On general release from 13th April 2012
FACT Liverpool

Reviewed by Tom Bottle

On the flimsy say-so that there is no evidence Butch Cassidy got shot to pieces with the Sundance Kid, Sam Shepherd resurrects the legendary outlaw as a bearded and grizzled old man gathering his stake to leave Bolivia and head for home.

Still shootin’ straight and knowin’ everything there is to know, OAP Butch helps a desperado who has shot him off his horse, which runs off with his life savings in the saddlebags leaving him stranded in the desert. The desperado (Eduardo Noriega) has robbed the takings of an evil mine owner and promises to take Butch to where he has it hidden and share the booty.

There are worse tales. This one though, is unbelievable. Butch, the aged sage don’t forget, is plum gullible in too readily falling for the mine robbers story, then playing the slightly miffed uncle to the stranger who tried to kill him doesn’t help either. A pointless flashback story of the young Butch and Sundance is gruesome in its wholesome simplicity and has phrases like ‘one-dimensional’ queuing at the door. This is when I began babbling aloud.

Hoping Blackthorn will take the mind off the creeping stiff neck from the low-slung couches in The Box is a long shot that never happens. The twist comes far too late when no one cares. I know this from my new position slid half way down the couch spying lit faces staring – not watching – the screen until someone turns the lights up and tells them to go.

When the credits did roll I fled, first out, my only consolation.

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