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Stars: Sam Shepard, Eduardo Noriega, Stephen Rea, Magaly Solier, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau, Dominique McEligott, Padraic Delaney

Director: Mateo Gil

Apart from its cusswords, here's a widescreen western very much in the old tradition, and one that makes the most of its magnificent Bolivian scenery. Outlaw Butch Cassidy (Shepard), long thought killed by militia in 1909, has survived and is living in a remote shack in the Bolivian countryside, making a living as a horse trader, and sleeping on and off with a native woman, Yana (Solier).

It's eighteen years on in 1927, and, deciding to go home to see his son by a now deceased Etta Place (McEligott), Cassidy, now known as James Blackthorn, sells his remaining horses and draws his savings from the bank, eliciting the film's only humorous line: 'I can't remember ever being so well treated at a bank', the ex bank-robber tells the manager.

On the way home, however, Butch is shot at, losing his horse and the money, by Eduardo (Noriega), a Spanish engineer who has stolen 50,000 dollars from a mining company and is fleeing from a posse. Butch joins him on a journey to the mine and the promise of enough money to return him to America. But, as well the posse, the fugitives find their steps dogged by an Irish-American ex-PInkerton agent called MacKinley (Rea), who has not forgotten being outwitted by the young Butch and Sundance (Coster-Waldau, Delaney) years before.

Pursuits and shoot-outs follow, none more dramatic than in the border salt flats that could lead to death - or freedom.

Shepard's crusty Cassidy is certainly among the better performances of his long career, and proves he can still hold centre stage. The film is a bit long, and contains a few too many reflective, do-nothing moments, but its shoot-outs are sharp, its ending satisfying, its cinematography awesome and its dialogue refreshingly free of cliché.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Chelsea Films. Colour by Foto Film.
102 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 10 Apr 2012