“Forsaken” (2015) / Z-View

Forsaken (2015)

Director:  Jon Cassar

Screenplay by:  Brad Mirman

Starring:  Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Michael Wincott, Brian Cox and Demi Moore

Tagline:  Haunted by his past, searching for peace.

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers.

During the Civil War, John Henry Clayton (K. Sutherland) was a fearless fighter.  After the war, Clayton’s reputation as deadly gunman grew as he drifted from town to town.  After nearly a decade away, Clayton is ready to put down his guns and return home. He wants to make amends with his father, his mother and Mary Alice (Moore), the woman he loved.

Clayton learns that his mother has died. His Preacher father (D. Sutherland) is bitter at what John Henry became, and Mary Alice married and has a son. Clayton buries his guns and begins clearing a plot of land his mother wanted for crops.  In town, James McCurdy (Cox) has hired Dave Turner (Wincott) a infamous gunfighter and thugs to force local landowners to sell out to him.  If they won’t sell, they end up dead.

Clayton keeps his head down and stays out of the fray even when some of the thugs try to goad him into a gunfight.  Turner knows that Clayton is more than a match for any of them and may even be as good with a gun as he is.  He warns them that, “you keep kicking a dog and he’ll eventually bite.”   Turner is right…

Forsaken is a much better film than I thought it would be.  I’m not sure why I under-estimated it.  Forsaken features an excellent cast with Kiefer and Donald Sutherland, Brian Cox,  Michael Wincott and Demi Moore.  Kiefer has an emotional scene with his father that will bring a tear to the driest eye.  Brian Cox is perfect as the rich wannabe land baron who feels entitled to things because he can take them.  Michael Wincott steals every scene he’s in.  I’d love to see more of his character.

Jon Cassar directed several episodes of 24. He and Kiefer planned at some point to do a western together.  Kiefer commissioned Brad Mirman to write the screenplay and he came up with a winner.  I’d love to see them re-team for a sequel (and bring back Michael Wincott)!  Forsaken rates 4 of 5 stars.