FlixChatter Review: HOSTILES (2017)

After he finished with The Dark Knight Trilogy, Christian Bale has been busy starring in different type of roles and in smaller scope film than those big budget Batman films. While I respect his choices, I can’t say I enjoy many of those films he starred in. In fact, I hated both American Hustle and Exodus: Gods and Kings. In his new film, he reunited with Scott Cooper who directed him in Out of the Furnace.

Set in 1892, a legendary Army Captain named Joseph Blocker (Bale) is tasked with escorting an old and sick Cheyenne war chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) and his family back to tribal land in Montana. At first Blocker is reluctant to the task since he and Yellow Hawk has a history together and he can’t stand the man. But when his superior threatened to take away his pension if he refused the job, with no choice, he obliged.

On their way to Montana, Blocker, his men and Yellow Hawk’s family ran into a widow named Rosalie (Rosamund Pike) whose family was brutally murdered by another Indian tribe. With no home and family, Blocker invited Rosalie to come along with him so she can be safe. Just like many other wester films, the plot for this one is pretty thin. The whole film is about how this group of people come together despite their differences and form a bond in order to survive the harsh land at that time.

Performances were pretty good, especially Bale. He plays a man who’ll do anything to survive but he’s also royal to his men. I don’t know if I buy how his character change of heart by the end of the film but Bale’s performance was so intense and sincere that I didn’t let it bother me too much. I was a bit disappointed that Pike’s character didn’t really have much to do once she joined the group. Same can be said of Studi’s character, in fact he didn’t have a lot of dialog in the entire film.

I wasn’t that impressed with Scott Cooper’s last two films, Out of the Furnace and Black Mass. He’s telling a familiar story again here but I thought this one turned out much better than his two previous pictures. The film was well shot but the pacing was a bit slow. I thought some of the dialogs sounded a bit preachy but thankfully he didn’t try to hit you over the head with the message he wanted say. I have to mention the excellent music score by Max Richter, it’s combination of school western theme and modern-day thriller. Again, the film looked great thanks to cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi.

This a good film with a great performance by Bale, if you’re a fan of the western genre then you’ll enjoy this one. To me what’s keep it from being a great film is the lack of conflicts and not much character development of the supporting cast.


So have you seen HOSTILES? Well, what did you think?

15 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: HOSTILES (2017)

  1. Good stuff Ted! Glad you liked it. I scored it a bit higher mainly because I really went for Bale’s personal journey. I agree about his change of heart but I think we see hints of it in his early scenes with his superiors. He seems completely disillusioned from the army, the natives, and the land in general. He’s also scarred by all of the bloodshed. And you’re right, Bale brings a stout intensity to the role.

      1. That’s a very interesting take. I’ve heard others take that interpretation. I didn’t really see it happy. Only slightly hopeful. For me his hesitations convey a real uncertainty. And that final shot had me thinking “he’s trying but he’s carrying those scars.” I may be stretching it too far though.

  2. How violent is this film Ted? I can’t really tell from the trailer, but if it’s about the same as 3:10 To Yuma then I can handle it. Looks intriguing just from Bale’s performance alone, and I like Rosamund Pike too, pity she wasn’t given much to do.

    1. It’s not that violent at all, most of the more violent sequences were either happened off screen or they didn’t show them. I think 3:10 To Yuma was more violent than this film.

      Definitely not the kind of violence that Tarantino or Scorsese likes to show.

    1. Thanks man! Yeah I think this will better watching at home, it has great cinematography and looked great on the big screen but I didn’t think it’s worth the price to pay to see it at a theater. It’s a missed opportunity since the cast is great.

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