Richard Spence's Blind Justice
Charles Tatum | 05/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although derivative of many Oriental films, this short little western still packs a punch.Assante is a nearly blind gunfighter traveling with a baby. He is looking for the baby's mother, asking everyone he finds about the town she is supposed to be in. He stops in one town where a group of soldiers is guarding a shipment of silver, which is being eyed by the local banditos. The soldiers, trapped, send Assante out for help. All hell breaks loose.Assante is very good as the embittered gunfighter (and often very funny). His blindness never becomes gimmicky, although one has to wonder how he can ride a horse. He uses his hearing and sense of smell to shoot, how does he know in which direction the horse is going? Adam Baldwin, as the soldier's sergeant, is great, as he distances himself even further from the Baldwin brothers (no, he is not one of them, he can act). Robert Davi has his best role since "Licence to Kill" as the main villain. The one cast liability here is Oscar nominee Elisabeth Shue.Shue delivers all of her lines in a flat monotonal vaguely-Valley Girl accent. She should be banned from doing any period films ever again. She has one embarassing nude scene, if you can call it that. At one point, she is sitting on a bed in her corset, and you can see part of her nipple mashed up out of her undergarment. It does not look erotic, it looks painful. Assante and Shue's forced romance is also the weakest part of the script.One scene to watch for is in the climax as a major character is blown through the doors of a building. I rewound that three times just to bask in an action shot I had never seen before.This feels like the first film of a proposed series that never came to fruition, and with an 85 minute running time, you have to wonder what they cut out. However, I do recommend "Blind Justice."This is rated (R) for physical violence, strong gun violence, some sexual violence, some gore, profanity, very brief female nudity, and some adult situations."
There are no reinforcements!
Steven Hellerstedt | 10/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Borrowing freely from westerns traditional and Italian, as well as from the Japanese Zatoichi series (blind swordfighter/masseur), BLIND JUSTICE works much better, and is a lot more enjoyable, than a mere plot description would indicate.
Armand Assante plays Canaan, a man blinded in Civil War. We see him first dressed in a black duster and wearing thick smoked glasses, walking across the desert with an infant bundled in his arms. Three Mexican banditos approach, whooping and hollering and firing their guns in the air. Canaan is dust, and if he manages to get out of this scrape he crawls into myth.
Although we're led to believe that Canaan retains some sight, his condition seems to have enhanced his other senses to a remarkable degree. Enough so that he's able to hear a scorpion walking across a hitching post from twenty feet and shoot it without touching the hand it was about to crawl onto.
The plot demands all of his super acute faculties. Canaan finds himself in a town under siege. A decimated U.S. Calvary unit is holed up in the local church, sitting on a wagon full of silver and threatened by the dreaded bandit king Alacran (Robert Davi) and his merciless minions. Oh, yeah, and there's that nurse Caroline (Elizabeth Shue) that he's got to kind of fall for, too.
Assante is a great actor, and makes his incredible character believable. The action is well choreographed and fast paced, save for a few flashblacks strategically thrown in to fill in Canaan's back story. I'm not sure we need to know how or why Canaan was blinded, but we find out anyway.
BLIND JUSTICE is compelling and an ingenious western.
Superb western with great appeal
Montoya | El Dorado Hills, CA United States | 08/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The plot of this 1994 HBO movie is fairly simple with a sprinkling of more complex sub-plots, but essentially this movie is about a blind man (played by Armand Assante) on a quest. This western works very well with the exception of one mediocre performance in the female role, but very few [if any] of us watch westerns for the love interest. The strength of this movie is in Assante's excellent performance, as well as the universal appeal this movie will have across the board for fans of traditional American westerns and European [spaghetti] westerns alike. The director seems to borrow heavily from earlier ideas of Corbucci, Garrone and Colizzi, with a healthy measure of John Ford and Howard Hawks influence combined, to create a unique film in the western genre. I have no idea what HBO intended when they funded this film, but in a 2003 era of Dungeons and Dragons and a post-democratic society a little grit, guns and gore goes a long way! Highly recommend."