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The only aim of director Phillip Borsos in this revisionist western seems to be to make us love Richard Farnsworth's scene-stealing codger, an elderly outlaw released from prison into the early 20th century. There's no drama, only the relentless self-congratulation of characters priding themselves on their anachronistic 1980s attitudes toward feminism, senior citizens, and the mentally handicapped, while the one villain, a Pinkerton man, mimes a Nixonian uptightness. Borsos decorates his audience-flattering concepts with leaden, incantatory dialogue direction and a collection of pretty-pretty images of the Canadian countryside that established a new standard of postcard cinema. It all goes down like a scoop of ice cream: this is a movie that Sam Peckinpah would have made if Sam Peckinpah were Leo Buscaglia.

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