Excerpt: What if Butch Cassidy didn�t die in Bolivia in 1908? What if he changed his name, switched bank robberies for the quiet life, and saw out his final years in seclusion as a horse trader? This is the idea which fuels Blackthorn as it catches up with Cassidy, now calling himself James Blackthorn, in 1927 aged 61.
Excerpt: Most people are familiar with the story of Butch Cassidy courtesy of the Paul Newman/Robert Redford film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In the 1969 classic, the story of two bank robbers concludes when they end up in a shootout with hundreds of Bolivian army soldiers. Largely thought to be the end of the matter by the general public, the legend has become one of great debate; if the many folks claiming Butch Cassidy was still alive more than twenty years after the...
Conclusion: 'Blackthorn' is an interesting alternate take on the Butch Cassidy story. Despite a few hiccups here and there, the film succeeds thanks to strong performances, occasionally breathtaking visuals, and an ultimately thoughtful rumination on friendship and morality. The video transfer is very strong and the audio mix is solid. While not loaded with supplements, the included special features are interesting and informative.
Excerpt: It’s obvious from the start where Blackthorn is going; given the grim, elegiac cynicism of modern Westerns, which these days all seem to be mourning the demise of an old way of life rather than celebrating or even just comfortably exploring the past, there’s only one possible ending for a story about the redemptive power of friendship.
Excerpt: On my way out of the media screening for Mateo Gil's Blackthorn , I overheard someone calling it a "standard Western"--as if that would be a bad thing, if there were any such thing anymore. Making a Western these days is anything but standard; they're enough of a novelty that it's still worth being thankful when we get one, and not dismissing it for being less than a masterwork.
Summary: Joining Anonymous and Inglourious Basterds in the yeah-nah of historical fiction is this disappointingly tame snapshot into Butch Cassidy’s hypothetical older years. Blackthorn could have been a badass character piece of True Grit proportions. Instead, it’s nothing more than a passable Western that makes you long for something memorable. More The first half drags its feet trying to develop Butch’s relationship with his underwritten Spaniard sidekick.