Just to give you an idea of how picky I am when it comes to movies, I may see 4 or 5 movies at the movie theater in a given year. So typically a trailer really has to move me to go see a movie. True Grit was that type of trailer. Jeff Bridges sounded like such a bad ass in that trailer, I was in. I knew academically that it was a remake of John Wayne movie, but I had never seen the original. When a couple of my buddies expressed interest in going, I knew we had to posse up and head out.
I saddled up and headed to the local theater to see my first Western in quite some time. Was it worth the ride?
Hell yeah it was. The action started with young Mattie Ross, who is set upon to take care of her father’s estate as her father was shot down and killed by an escaped outlaw named Tom Chaney. Hailee Steinfield did a masterful job playing a strong determined teenage girl who not only manages but thrives in the awful situation. The scenes where she was interacting the auctioneer were incredible. Eventually Mattie decides that she needs to find a U.S. Marshall with True Grit who can help her bring Chaney to justice. She decides on Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), an old Marshall who has a habit of bringing men in dead more often then alive. They also run into a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) who is also hunting Chaney for shooting a Senator in Texas.
Without going any further into the story, and risking a spoiler alert, what I can say that was my favorite part of the movie was the humor. It was well placed and topical. It felt like a joke you might hear back in the 1800s, so it felt natural to the story. The interactions between LeBoeuf, Cogburn and Mattie on the trail was just priceless.
I know some people will turn up their nose because it’s a remake of a John Wayne movie (my wife chief among them), and to be honest I can sympathize because I hate remakes and reboots myself. This had two things going for it though. The first was, not having seen the original, I didn’t have any nits to pick regarding Tom Bombadil, etc, etc. The second was that I feel that 40 years is a long enough time to pass to allow a reboot. I mean, it’s not something ridiculous like 10 years *cough* Spiderman *cough*.
I felt myself open to watching a Western after playing Red Dead Redemption, so I am very glad I gave this one a chance. I would not be surprised if any of the three actors (Bridges, Damon, or Steinfield) was nominated for Oscars given their body of work in this movie. If you are a fan of that video game, or westerns in general you’ll enjoy this movie. Borrowing Paul’s Awesomeness Meter…. 9/10