Momentum Pictures | Release Date: February 19, 2016
7.5
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Generally favorable reviews based on 13 Ratings
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5
YorkManMay 30, 2016
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Father and son superstars Donald and Kiefer Sutherland finally get to act together on-screen in this thoroughly underwhelming tale set in a small Mid-West town in the 1870s.

Kiefer plays John Henry Clayton, a veteran of the Civil War who returns home 10 years after leaving to go to war. He find his father Reverend William Clayton (Donald Sutherland) embittered, having had his wife die in the interim and hearing stories of how his son became a notorious quick-draw murderer.
John Henry clearly suffers from PTSD, and has come home to repent. Having given up his gun, he sets about clearing a field for crops, something his mother had asked him to do with his father. He reconnects with his lost love Mary Alice Watson (Demi Moore), but is saddened to find she's married with a young son.
The town is under the thumb of local rich man James McCurdy (Brian Cox) who is seeking to buy up all the local land, knowing that a rail-road will be coming to the town. Although some people have sold out, the majority refuse (including William, who was once a friend of McCurdy), so more direct action is taken.
Helping him are his gaggle of local hardmen, lead by Frank Tillman (Aaron Poole), but supervised by hired gunman 'Gentleman' Dave Turner (Michael Wincott).
John Henry does his best to keep under the radar, but his return worries McCurdy. Tillman and his gang antagonise him, but he refuses to bite. Eventually they beat him up, in front of the Reverend and Mary, who take him home, much to the distaste of Mary's husband Tom (Greg Ellis).
Things reach a head when Tom, seeing Mary and John Henry reconnecting, agrees to sell his land to McCurdy, but then has a change of heart after the Reverend promises him he has nothing to fear from John Henry, after Tom and John Henry argue outside the Church.
The Reverend and John Henry finally reconcile their differences when John Henry explains how, after looking for a fight and getting into one with two young (and relatively untrained) gunslingers looking to make a name for themselves, a stray shot he fired killed a young boy. A young boy about the same age as John Henry's younger brother, who had died when they both went down to the river after the Reverend had explicitly told them not to.
The Reverend visits McCurdy and asks him to let the Watson's keep their land and offer no further trouble. McCurdy refuses, saying it's gone too far for that. The Reverend leaves, but Tillman stabs him in the back and leaves him to die.
John Henry arrives and is happy to find his father will live. Unfortunately though Tillman's actions have convinced him that someone needs to stop McCurdy, and despite his father telling him not to, he heads home and retrieves his gun......

Forsaken is a by the numbers tale.
Morality vs. the human condition. Not quite good vs. evil, but the parallels are there.
The acting in the film is universally good, but it's let down by the script, but that's only because that is an extension of an overly simplistic storyline.

There's nothing original in the movie at all, and despite it not being very long (90 minutes) it drags in places. Overall, it's a fantastic cast acting their collective arses off, in a film which is resolutely unworthy of their talents. It's worth watching solely for seeing Donald and Kiefer on-screen together, but not much else.
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