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American Outlaws

movie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: American Outlaws

Starring: Colin Farrell, Gabriel Macht
Director: Les Mayfield
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 95 Minutes
Release Date: August 2001
Genres: Action, Comedy, Western


*Also starring: Scott Caan, Ali Larter, Will McCormack, Timothy Dalton, Gregory Smith, Harris Yulin, Kathy Bates, Ronny Cox



Review by Edward Johnson-Ott
1½ stars out of 4

I don't want to be a writer anymore. I want to be an outlaw in a contemporary western. How grand life would be. Why, I can see myself there now...

Like Colin Farrell, the star of "American Outlaws," I am the dreamiest Jesse James ever, looking less like a bandit and more like the grand prize in my sister's old "Mystery Date" board game. No matter how rough the fighting gets, my hair always stays perfectly in place, arcing out over my thick manly eyebrows which are offset by my button nose and boyish smile.

I get laid all the time. When battling evil railroad barons, I surround myself with relatives and friends, such as my brother Frank (Gabriel Macht), a handsome, bearded man who, like most men in the 1800s, is prone to quoting Shakespeare. And my cousin, Cole Younger (Scott Caan), a hot tempered but lovable lad with a body straight out of the "fanatics only" section of Gold's Gym.

Man, do we look great with our shirts off.

The boys and I leap on our horses and gallop across the land, robbing banks and trading quips while the bullets fly. Me and Frank and Cole don't really have to worry about bullets, though. Oh sure, one of us may get the occasional flesh wound, so we can grimace while everyone fusses over us in a vaguely erotic fashion, but we won't die, because the bullets of our opponents can only kill ugly men and extras.

Once in a while we rob trains and, boy, do we ever get clever then! You see, instead of just stopping a train, we do a homage to those vintage Burma Shave roadside markers, with gang members holding up a series of funny signs. You know, just like they did in the real Old West.

And our thrilling exploits are accompanied by authentic Wild West music by Moby.

In case you were wondering, we didn't start off as sexy outlaws. At first we were sexy Rebel soldiers in the War Between the States, protecting ourselves from waves of enemy fire by crouching behind thin pieces of wood. After the war ended, we came home, only to learn that the railroad was taking our farms, with security expert Allan Pinkerton (Timothy Dalton) backing them up.

Those monsters blew up our houses and killed my ma (Kathy Bates), so we get our revenge by robbing banks and trains. Our neighbors love us, because we throw some money their way and we become folk heroes, with trashy newspapers chronicling our adventures. Oh, how we laugh at the foolishness of the unrealistic stories. I mean, what's the point in taking the lives of genuine historic figures and turning them into glib, glossy fairy tales about guys more suited to the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog than the frontier?

What, indeed. See you at Westworld, folks.

Copyright 2001 Edward Johnson-Ott

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