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Seraphim Falls


Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Michael Wincott, Ed Lauter, Anjelica Huston, Kevin J O'Connor, Angie Harmon, Xander Berkeley, Wes Studi

Director: David Von Ancken

Faltering after a cracking start, this slow, meditative western, set in 1868 Oregon, is perhaps the first with two Irish-born stars. Brosnan is Gideon, a grizzled mountain man, who's eating some vit'ls in the high hills when he's shot in the arm by Carver (Neeson), who is paying his companions a hefty price, and insists Gideon must be taken alive.

Gideon, escaping the initial attack, dispatches one of his pursuers in grisly fashion; extreme violence and the odd cuss-word are the only concessions this western makes to modern film-making - although the blue-green rinse that Colour by de Luxe cruelly lends to the towering scenery would surely have been replaced by razor-sharp colour in the genre's vintage years.

At any rate, as this one goes on (and on), Neeson captures Brosnan but somehow allows him to get away, setting the whole chain of events back in motion again. It does help the attention that you're not certain which side you're supposed to be on, but when Neeson yelps 'Let's move!' you wish to hell they would.

The desert ending, partially nicked from the silent classic Greed, includes a bizarre appearance by Anjelica Huston, whose character may or may not be a mirage.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Icon. Colour by de Luxe.
115 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

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

Review date: 20 Aug 2007