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The story is so simple, yet connects on such a large physical and emotional level, you'd almost be shocked to learn it's basically a revenge picture. However, the manner with which this tale of vengeance unwinds features a fresh spin that is just so damn compelling. The violence is brutal, yet never too over-the-top to not seem real. The excellent score is spot on and really helps hammer home the proceedings. And the visuals and cinematography are just stunning.
Of course, none of these merits would mean much without a willing cast. Fortunately, this is where Hughes scores his highest marks. If you would, just briefly cast your eyes above at the three names mentioned under Starring and take note. Because all three absolutely owned and their names deserve to be committed to memory. Ryan Kwanten (who you may remember as the star of James Wan's DEAD SILENCE) is ideal as the new policeman with a past in town. He effortlessly goes from meek to tough through the progression of the events in the film and totally sells it. I absolutely loved Steve Bisley as the town's old, take-no-shit-from-nobody sheriff. Really great stuff! I've saved, however, the best for last. Tom E. Lewis is simply a f*cking revelation as the scarred psycho that has just busted out of prison. The man says more with a long stare than most can do with ten minutes of straight dialogue. Good thing too, because the dude basically says nothing through the flick! Every move, gesture, and expression that Lewis made just oozed bad-ass. Remarkable.
RED HILL is a modernized western, yet still packs the explosiveness of a full-on genre flick. The thrills come fast and keep you gripped for the entire ride. I never wanted to look away for a second. Even the subtle subplots ruled. I said before that this film was nearly flawless. I was wrong. Kindly do me a favor and forget about that nearly.
Audio English 5.1 Dolby Digital