Friday 13 January 2023

REVIEW: The Old Way (2023) - Starring Nicolas Cage

Review by Jon Donnis
I don't get to review many Westerns, in fact the last one I recall seeing was Terror on the Prairie with the excellent Gina Carano, before that I genuinely can't remember reviewing any on the site! So, to hear that there was a new Western out at first didn't really attract me, but then I see that the legendary Nicolas Cage is in it, and I am intrigued, for as far as I know Nic Cage has never ever starred in a Western!

In the beginning, in the Montanan Old West we are introduced to Colton Briggs, a bounty hunter played by Cage, who demonstrates his exceptional shooting skills by causing a massacre in a town square after interrupting a town hanging. With his Mustache and intense gaze, Cage portrays a ruthless killer.

Fast forward 20 years and now, we see Colton has retired from hunting and no longer has that epic Mustache which to be fair is a massive shame. He is now living a peaceful life, as a shopkeeper and family man with his wife, Ruth (Kerry Knuppe), and his 12-year-old daughter, Brooke (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). However, the arrival of James McAllister (Noah Le Gros) and his group of thugs seeking revenge for Colton's past actions leads to a turn of events that will change the lives of all involved, the outlaw son of a man he killed returns to exact revenge, resulting in the death of his wife.

Colton goes on a mission, with his daughter, to avenge the murder of his wife, and take out the killer.

This is an interesting film, and one I enjoyed. It is easy to blindly attack anything that Nic Cage is in, it is almost trendy to do so from some critics, but I found his performance to be strong in this film. Ryan Kiera Armstrong is also excellent as Briggs' daughter Brooke, an almost emotionless child, who wants to be like her dad when she finds out about his history.

For fans of the simple Western set up, The Old Way ticks all the boxes, you have the good guys, bad guys, perilous situations, and even good old fashioned shootouts. What more could you want if you are a fan of the genre?

The Good
I like Nicolas Cage and I happen to think his moustache at the start is almost perfect, I only wish he kept it throughout. A strong performance by him and Ryan Kiera Armstrong carry the film for sure. Beautiful scenery, well shot action scenes, and characters you can actually care about.

The Bad
The one problem with Nicolas Cage is that he is almost too big for the role. Every time you see him on screen, you think "that's Nicolas Cage", there is no moment where you will stop believing you are watching Nicolas Cage, and that is a problem. 

I enjoyed the film, at 90 minutes it is the perfect length. Good characters, nicely shot, and it has Nicolas Cage! If you haven't seen a Western in a while, and fancy something a bit different to the usual rubbish Hollywood churns out, then this is worth a shot.

I score The Old Way a solid 8/10.

Out now in Cinemas and Apple TV at