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Texas Rangers

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Texas Rangers

Starring: James Van Der Beek, Rachael Leigh Cook
Director: Steve Miner
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: November 2001
Genre: Western

*Also starring: Oded Fehr, Ashton Kutcher, Dylan McDermott, Alfred Molina, Tom Skerritt, Randy Travis, Billy Morton

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

Hats. Lots of great Western hats are about all there is to Steve Miner's TEXAS RANGERS, a movie that the studio has pulled from release three different times in the past couple of years. Rather than choosing the obvious solution of an ignominious direct-to-video release, the studio decided to sneak it into theaters without benefit of advanced screening to critics. The strategy backfired, and the movie made less than eight hundred dollars a day per screen on its crucial opening weekend. Once you see the movie, which plays like AMERICAN OUTLAWS LITE, you can understand the minimal grosses and the reason the studio was reluctant to release it.

As the story begins, a photogenic group of young men are going to Brownsville in far southern Texas to fight with the Texas Rangers. The Civil War is over, and the rangers aim to restore (their brand of) justice. The good looking leader of the group, Leander McNelly, is played by Dylan McDermott, who always looks like he's posing for a photo shoot.

Leander's got lots of clichéd advice to give to his thirty new recruits, most of them orphans. ("Remember, you hesitate -- you're dead." "We're rangers, men. We got right on our side.") "Twenty cents says he's dead by Sunday," one old ranger says to another about a new recruit. "Ain't takin' that bet," the other replies. Any bets on whether TEXAS RANGERS will be dead and buried by next Sunday?

TEXAS RANGERS runs 1:40. It is rated PG-13 for "western violence" and would be acceptable for kids around 8 and up.

Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes

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