Lionsgate // 2009 // 92 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 18th, 2009
Lou Diamond Phillips is coming and Hell's coming with him
In this remake of the John Wayne film of the same name, Phillips plays Quirt Evans who is infamous all over the land for being a ruthless gunslinger, no doubt prompted by the endless mockery he endured at the hand of mean kids growing up("Hey look! It's Quirt the Squirt!"). This rambunctious attitude finally catches up with Quirt, who dings himself in a deadly gunfight with some thugs -- and soaks up a bullet or two.
Injured and half-dead he manages to make it to a Quaker homestead, where he meets the lovely Temperance (Deborah Kara Unger) and her God-fearing family and friends. As he recuperates in their care, he comes to appreciate their peaceful ways and pious camaraderie. He also appreciates Temperance's hotness and the two soon fess up their desire to get jiggy with each other. Unfortunately, Quirt's new life of pacifism and horniness is about to be upended with the arrival of a villain from his past (Luke Perry, 90210), forcing him to make a decision. Does he accept the change within or succumb to the violence of his past.
Let's get one thing out of the way right now. This is not an action-packed movie full of gunslinging. Angel and the Badman is a character-centric romance with the briefest of gun battles tossed in at the start and end and a slapsticky barroom brawl jammed into the middle. And that's it for the mayhem.
If that doesn't nuke the experience and you can set aside expectations for a slam-bang Western thriller, what remains is a serviceable, if sentimental love story. Lou Diamond Phillips and Deborah Kara Unger are both good here and succeed in their primary goal; namely, convincing us that their love is real. Phillips has the most to do with the whole redemption angle and all, but he's believable and the ending is unexpected -- and a bit anti-climactic.
Regardless, everyone involved is committed to the project, making Angel and the Badman a decent choice for anyone in the mood for an easygoing Western.
The DVD: a solid 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 surround and a making-of featurette.
An unenthusiastic "Not Guilty."
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13