Last of the Dogmen
Time Out saysKevin Costner has a lot to answer for. Take this contemporary Western, for instance, where tracker Berenger and anthropologist Hershey run across a Cheyenne tribe which has managed to survive in the mountains of Montana for a century or so without anyone noticing. The portrayal of the Native Americans seems so keen to avoid any negative stereotyping that the Cheyenne are reduced to benign, mystical, eco-friendly ciphers whose all-round good-eggness undercuts any tension in the narrative set-up. The inference is that they've lasted so long by killing anyone who came near, yet the reality is more fluffy, turning an arresting B-picture action premise into touchy-feely inanity. Berenger is a watchable lug, but he's saddled with a routine assignment as the boozy bounty hunter given one last chance to redeem himself in the eyes of sheriff Smith by locating a trio of escaped convicts in the Rockies. For 20 minutes we get The African Queen, but first-time director Murphy's screenplay works up to a slump when the Cheyennes' cover is blown. Great landscapes, though.