Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Apache Junction Review: A Wild West Story of Revenge and Redemption

Thomas Jane	...	Al Longfellow Scout Taylor-Compton	Scout Taylor-Compton	...	Annabelle Angel Stuart Townsend	Stuart Townsend	...	Jericho Ford Victoria Pratt	Victoria Pratt	...	Christine Williams Trace Adkins	Trace Adkins	...	Captain Hensley Phil Burke	Phil Burke	...	Boone Higgins Danielle Gross	Danielle Gross	...	Mary Primm Edward Finlay	Edward Finlay	...	Ebb Foliet Wanna Choy	Wanna Choy	...	Cowgirl Lorena Sarria	Lorena Sarria	...	Maria Quintana Ed Morrone	Ed Morrone	...	Oslo Pike Ricky Lee	Ricky Lee	...	Wasco Stephanie Hill	Stephanie Hill	...	Saloon Girl J. Nathan Simmons	J. Nathan Simmons	...	The Stranger David Hight	David Hight	...	Higgins Boy Julie Volkamer	Julie Volkamer	...	Soiled Dove Nicholas Ryan	Nicholas Ryan	...	Private Hensley

Release date: September 24, 2021
Running time: 92 minutes
Written and Directed By: Justin Lee
Trace Adkins, Stuart Townsend, Scout Taylor-Compton, Ed Morrone, Victoria Pratt, and Thomas Jane

Apache Junction is an outpost of lawlessness, a haven for thieves and cold-blooded killers. After big-city reporter Annabelle Angel (Scout Taylor-Compton) arrives to write an article on the town, she becomes a target when notorious gunslinger Jericho Ford (Stuart Townsend) comes to her aid. Now Annabelle must entrust her future to a man with a deadly past, as Jericho heads toward a tense showdown in this thrilling Western that unloads a double-barreled blast of action. Costarring country music superstar Trace Adkins and Thomas Jane.

Vasily Bernhardt	...	executive producer Rich Carlo	...	co-producer Wanna Choy	...	co-executive producer Amy Covell	...	associate producer Jordan Dykstra	...	co-executive producer Jarrett Furst	...	line producer Avi Haas	...	executive producer Daemon Hillin	...	producer Frank C. Salzano	...	executive producer Taras Shydlyk	...	executive producer Chaya Supannarat	...	associate producer
Apache Junction, just like the outpost in the film, is a mixed bag. The film is full of wild west characters, some good, some bad, but few ugly.  I liked the mix of individuals that the film gathered and the strange outpost that was Apache Junction.  And despite the film being set in the wild west in a rough frontier town, the movie has some more progressive characters.  I liked the women in the film as they were strong and supportive despite the wild west town around them. 

And Apache Junction's story initially starts with some mystery, as you don't necessarily know what will happen to Annabelle in this town, nor do you know the backgrounds of many of the people she meets.  As she starts to become more familiar, some of their mysteries reveal themselves.  And through this all you have some really nice images of the wild west and some enjoyable sets and weapons.  It's a contained story but one that keeps your interest.  And the characters are all interesting to interact with and are well acted.  You have a lot of your western movie tropes, but they are all well portrayed by the talented cast.  

However, Apache Junction is let down by its action and the overall conclusion to the story.  I was excited when the action finally got going, only to be let down by an effort that was slower than I expected.  Director Justin Lee is no stranger to the wild west so maybe my own experiences have been too "Hollywoodized" to make me think that gunplay should be fast and loose, but I kept wondering what was taking these folks so long to fire their weapons.  And these cowboys bill themselves as dead eyes but when the actual gunfighting happened, it seemed like no one could hit anyone else (again, maybe this was accurate and my expectations are wrong).  And this all builds to a climactic final encounter that felt unnatural given what we'd already seen, and also felt a little unfulfilling.  Overall, I liked the journey and the characters, but the payoff just didn't seem like it was there.

Apache Junction's lawless wild west town, interesting characters, and beautiful landscapes make for an interesting story of revenge and redemption.  

Rent it.

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Apache Junction is available in theaters, digitally, and on demand on September 24, 2021.  

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