Told you I'd be eating my words.
Now obviously to compare Tombstone and Unforgiven is difficult and unfair, they are two very different movies with very different qualities to appreciate. And it's not really the film you would expect when reading a synopsis of the plot, with an aging gunslinger teaming up with his old partner and a young man to essentially kill two cowboys who cut up a woman of the oldest profession in the world. It sounds like a revenge plot, and well you all know how I feel about revenge. You'd expect a good deal of action, some chases, typical actiony kind of stuff with a big climax and a happy resolution. That is far, far from what you get. Unforgiven is a western movie that takes it's time, has discussions, and actually severely looks down on any gunplay. Hell I have to give a lot of respect and have a lot of admiration for the film to have that kind of message. Every one of our main characters has a solid moment where they fully emotionally express their desire not to kill anyone. And for those people who didn't like the movie because of the deglorifying opinion on guns, and the lack of action well then you missed the point entirely of the story. All the acting here is very good, you could almost say it's understated. With Clint being an outlaw who has been out of the saddle for years and can't even shoot that well or wants no part of any bad deeds is not only appreciated for the uniqueness but just how he plays this part, very reserved and you can see a lot of the history and pain of the character on his face. Gene Hackman has one of the most morally grey characters in cinema, because he's a lawman who's trying to keep order in a town and you see kind of a retirement angle with him building a house and being up there in age, and yet he really abuses his power and beats the shit out of people. But he's not a ruthless guy, it's such a hard character to pin but he plays it wonderfully. Morgan Freeman, spoiler alert, is great and honestly has the second best bit of acting in this movie, again in correlation with how he feels about guns and killing. The movie is a bit slow until you meet his character then you get more invested and engaged. Jaimz Woolvett has the best piece of acting in the film near the end, and again he doesn't play this bastard shooter, he talks a big game and could be seen as bloodthirsty but how the events of the film play out it doesn't show a single character in a positive light. It's not a morbid, highly depressing, or even just a bit of a downer film, it makes you think. I mean really think about the choices and fallout if you ever pull a trigger, and I'm not honestly surprised that the same person who wrote this film also wrote Blade Runner, introspective and thoughtful writing is something he is damn good at. Now I said awhiles back that Once Upon A Time In The West is my favorite western ever, and Unforgiven is mighty close to that. The writing is spot on, the shots in this movie regarding scenery is unbelievable, the cast is excellent, it's so worth the time to watch. 4 stars, 8.5/10, see you later on down the road this Friday.