Film: The Desperate Riders ( Lionsgate Play release)
Cast: Drew Waters, Vanessa Evigan, Sam Ashby, Tom Berenger, Victoria Pratt
Director: Michael Feifer
Runtime: 90 mins
Scripted by Lee Martin and directed by Michael Feifer this attempted Western has little to offer other than generics for the genre fans.
The story is rudimentary – seems like a fake reason to get the actors into Western gear of a time and place long forgotten. Don’t know what Tom Berenger was thinking when he took this role on – of a Dentist (in a town where there are no other Doctors), who has to stand in as a general physician and take care of those injured in pointless shoot-outs. The viewer might still have some interest in watching a western but this one is not going to get them interested.
Kansas Red (Drew Waters) who rescues young Billy from a card-game shootout, is inveigled into attempting to rescue his mother Carol(Victoria Pratt), who has been kidnapped by an outlaw, Thorn (Adkins).
An unoriginal plot, an uninteresting opening act, and unimaginative direction throughout have this new-fangled Western clutching at straws for its sustenance. Even the gunfights are poorly executed. Everyone looks pretty clean and comfy despite being on a trail for several weeks. Looks like they had manicures, hair sprays, and laundromats en route. One can see that there’s been no real attempt to create mood or moments in a realistic fashion here.
`The Desperate Riders` is utterly generic. Poor writing, mediocre acting, and bland direction make this genre offering rather unpalatable. Even the cinematography which could have added weight to the contrived drama does little to augment this experience.