Movie title: The Old Way (2022)
Director(s): Brett Donowho
Actor(s): Nicolas Cage, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Noah Le Gros, Clint Howard, Kerry Knuppe, Nick Searcy
Genre: Western, Drama, Action
In a career that’s spanned more than forty years and over 100 movies, Nicholas Cage had never done a Western. So, it’s no surprise he would want to saddle up and try something new. Sadly, The Old Way is another example of him collecting a paycheck in a subpar film. Perhaps best described as Unforgiven on the cheap, The Old Way offers no originality, presenting every cliché of the genre. The result is one of least imaginative films Cage has ever done.
A gunslinger known for his lethal shot, Colton Briggs (Cage) has put down his guns after falling in love with wife Ruth (Kerry Knuppe). Now he runs a general store in a nearby town and helps to raise his young daughter Brooke (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). One day, Colton is pressured into walking Brooke to school before opening op the store. At the same time, Ruth finds herself cornered by four men, led by escaped convict James McCallister (Noah Le Gros) who has a beef with her husband. As a young boy, James had watched as Colton murdered his father. Thirsty for revenge, McCallister and his gang brutally murder Ruth. Predictably, Colton returns to his violent ways, determined to make them pay. The one problem is Brooke’s presence. When his initial plan for taking care of her falls through, Colton decides to bring her along. Colton ends up teaching her how to shoot and take care of herself. It’s no surprise then, that she later becomes a real asset.
While presenting some interesting ideas, the screenplay by Carl W. Lucas is simply too trite to achieve the emotional punch its aiming for. The revenge plot is contrived, it devolves into silliness. The real selling point is Nicholas Cage. While he’s not necessarily bad, at times, he doesn’t appear all that interested in the material. He’s Cage being Cage, which makes him seem wildly out of place in what is supposed to be a traditional Western. Noah Le Gros’ twisted villain is slightly more interesting, but never manages to be particularly convincing.
Presented in the 2.38:1 aspect ratio, Lionsgate’s 1080p transfer shows off Sion Michel’s cinematography, a highpoint of the film. the panoramic views are beautiful, fine detail is better than average. Unfortunately, the western clothing looks amateurish at times, taking away from the overall look of the film. The image is clean and clear throughout, making for an above average transfer.
The Old Way‘s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track does a good job with the material. Immersion is solid, particularly in outdoor scenes. A shoutout in the opening scene of the film impresses. Andrew Morgan Smith’s score is full bodied throughout. Environmental sounds are realistic. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.
English and Spanish subtitles are available.
The following special features are included:
- Audio Commentary with Director Brett Donowho
- Audio Commentary with Composer Andrew Morgan Smith
- The Old Way: Behind the Scenes (HD, 13:49) A typical EPK offering interviews with the cast and crew as well as some behind-the-scenes footage.
- Scoring Sessions (HD, 8:54) Andrew Morgan Smith returns for a look at the recording process.
- Digital Copy of the film.