4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
King Vidor It Isn't, But Still Enjoyable To Some Degree,
This review is from: Texas Rangers [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Texas Rangers, one of the earliest organized law enforcement in America, has been treated in movie industry, and probably the best one remains King Vidor's version made in 1936. Since then, the name has been used as a TV series, and even as a baseball team, so it is time for someone to pick up this ledendary figures to make a film out of their eventful history. And here is a film based on this important part of American history again.
The film starts with massive killings of innocent people by the villainous John King Fisher (Alfred Molina). And in order to regain the justice in the land of Texas, young gunmen get together under the command of Leander McNelly (Dylan McDermott), whose way of carrying out justice seems sometimes very dubious. James Van Der Beek is one of these brave youths recruited for the purpose, as are Usher Raymond and Ashton Kusher. Robert Patrick also appears as Sgt. John Armstrong who supports McNelly, and you will find Rachel Leigh Cook, who falls in love with one of them. Also, Leonor Verela ("Blade 2") appears, but her role is a very painful one, I warn you, fans.
OK, and about the film ... well, first, don't expect something that might enlarge your knowledge about American history. Though the character of McNelly is a real one, and the location of the film is very beautiful and authentic, the story itself is nothing new, nothing inspired, just what you have seen in other western films. Though the film at least doens't stop to muse, and during this short running time there are enough shootings to keep you absorbed, you will feel something missing in it.
The actors including Van Deer Beek are not bad, but it is McDermott who attracts the viewers most, with his comparatively complex characterization. However, I find Alfred Molina, usually a very reliable actor, is fatally miscast as a villain, and Rachael Leigh Cook looks very uncomfortable (though she was once in a costume drama "True Women.") Probably it is because we know (and she knows) that her role is just an obligatory one.
Director Steve Miner, like his "Lake Placid," keeps the story going anyway, but he neither hits the right mark, nor misses it too wide. Surely "Texas Rangers" is entertaining, but needs something more to be really original.