For the first twenty minutes or so, I thought this was going to be a brilliant movie. The cinematography was incredible, the James brothers were interestingly broody, the train robbery was clicking right along…
… and then. the. movie.
How did I not notice going in that this thing was 2:40??!
My pithy sum-up: Jesse James was kind of a weird dude… oh and also, no one here gives a shit about Bob, including the audience. Which is a damn shame, since Bob is our main character.
Here’s a hint to Hollywood screenwriters: when you sit down to adapt a book, and you realize that a lot of your big moments happen in the narration rather than the action, you are incorrect in thinking, “I know! We’ll just get a really great narrator and it’ll all be OK!” Put down the script, back away slowly, and go find another project with more showing and less telling.
As for this… eh. If you want to see Casey Affleck being surprisingly good, go see Gone Baby Gone. It has pacing problems too, but it’s a much more satisfying movie. If you want to see a nice crunchy Western, try 3:10 to Yuma. If you really want to see Brad Pitt play Jesse James… well, OK, I guess. It’s kind of like his Twelve Monkeys role crossed with Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday, if you want to know. But if I can’t stop you, so be it. Just don’t blame me when you realize that you are done with this movie and there are still two hours to go. I tried to warn you.