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DEAD FOR A DOLLAR (2022, USA)

Walter Hill was one of my childhood heroes before I even knew it. His “Warriors of the Underworld” was playing almost daily on VHS when I was 10 or 12 and is the reason we all wanted to start our own gangs as kids. Then came “Southern Comfort” which I also watched countless times in those formative years. Even in the nineties, Hill had bright moments with solid action and westerns such as “Last Man Standing”, “Geronimo”, “Wild Bill” or “Trespass”, but the new millennium did not bring anything good for this great man, except for directing the pilot episode cult western series “Deadwood”.

After the criminally bad “Bullet to the Head” and “The Assignment” that he made in the past decade, it seemed that his career was over, but a few months after he celebrated his 80th birthday, he appeared with a new film. Another western in which is assembled an extremely high-quality cast led by Christoph Waltz, Willem Dafoe and Rachel Brosnahan, but even they could not save this old-fashioned and boring cowboy, which is set at the very end of the 19th century. Unfortunately, it seems that age has taken its toll on old Walter is completely rusty and “Dead for a Dollar” is not only a film without dynamics, but also the story is boring and it seemed to me to be on the level of a television movie.

Waltz is still best remembered for his Oscar-winning roles in Tarantino’s “Ruthless Bastards” and “Django”, and now he’s back in the Wild West, but unlike the previous two brilliant films, he unfortunately had nothing to work with here. He is the bounty hunter Max Borlund, and he was hired by a businessman whose wife Rachel (Brosnahan) was allegedly kidnapped by a black soldier. It will turn out that the trophy wife Rachel was not kidnapped by anyone, but she voluntarily fled to Mexico with the deserter Elijah (Brandon Scott) because her husband was violent towards her and she fell in love with a young black soldier. In addition to having to find his runaway wife, Borlund will also meet the local warlord Tiberio (Benjamin Bratt) and his sworn enemy, the gambler and murderer who was once imprisoned by Joe Cribbens (Dafoe) in Mexico. He has just been released and plans to get revenge on Borlund, and they will all face off in Mexico in this slow-moving and old-fashioned western shot in a desert, gray color palette.

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