Gripping modern "film noir" thriller definitely worth seeing
C. Roberts | Halifax, Yorkshire, United Kingdom | 02/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Red Rock West" is a superb and amazingly well written thriller with excellent acting and surprises galore. The plot twists and turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout.Nicolas Cage plays Michael Williams who arrives in Red Rock broke and out of work when he is mistaken for a contract killer. Bar owner Wayne Brown (J. T. Walsh) offers him $10,000 to murder his wife. Williams is shocked but pretends to go along with the plan. He decides to warn Brown's wife Suzanne (Lara Flynn Boyle) of her husband's intentions but this is where things start to go drastically wrong. The real killer, Lyle (played by Dennis Hopper) then arrives in town which places Williams in many dangerous situations so you will just have to see the film to find out what happens to him next!!Some favourite lines from the film:Nicolas Cage (to Lara Flynn Boyle): "I hate to see an innocent woman get hurt but it's an awful lot of money".Boyle (to Cage): "O.K. How are you going to explain impersonating a hired killer and taking $10,000 from my husband?"."Red Rock West" is a film that did not receive much publicity on its release but is now gaining a cult following. This is definitely a film worth looking out for with a marvellous storyline and many unexpected surprises along the way.J.T. Walsh gave a riveting performance in the film - he was a fine actor and it is tragic that we lost him to a fatal heart attack in 1998. He had become one of my favourite actors in films such as "Breakdown", "The Narrow Margin", "A Few Good Men", "The Client" and many others. He usually played character parts or supporting roles but was always watchable. A sad loss."Red Rock West" was co-written and directed by John Dahl - a name I was not familiar with - but I did enjoy another film of his recently called "The Last Seduction". I will watch out for more of his films in the future. "Red Rock" is certainly a surprise hit - one of the best thrillers of the 90's. Do yourself a favour and see it! Clive Roberts."
Just GO, man!
Peggy Vincent | Oakland, CA | 03/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've watched this marvelous noir movie, oh, maybe 4 times, and my response is always the same. Nicholas Cage has yet another opportunity to just get the hell our of Red Rock, and you can see the conflict and indecision and inevitability play across his face, and you just want to shout at him, `GO, man, just GO!'
But of course, if he did, there wouldn't be a movie, and it's such a good one that it would really be a shame to have it not exist.
Cage plays a down and out ex-Marine who literally stumbles into Red Rock West, Wyoming. For his sake, you wish it could have been maybe Red Rock East, or Laramie, or Cheyenne - anyplace other than Red Rock West...but no. It's in Red Rock West that he finds himself caught in a web of betrayal that begins with a case of mistaken identity and goes from silly to confusing to scary to terrifying in the space of about 20 minutes. There's a femme fatale, a psychopath (spectacularly played by Dennis Hooper), money, power, treachery, and ruthlessness at play here. Cage is trapped but good, and no matter how hard he tried, he just can't seem to leave town.
"I hate to see an innocent woman get hurt, but it's an awful
Cinephiliac | Los Angeles, CA | 10/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was surprised at just how well elements of classic film noir worked when combined with those of a contemporary western in the surprising little thriller "Red Rock West," written and directed by John Dahl.
Mike Williams (Nicolas Cage) is a likeable, down on his luck, Gulf War vet looking for work as a roughneck on an oilfield in Big Sky Country. When he doesn't get the job, Mike finds himself down to his last few dollars, with no prospects on the horizon. That all changes when he goes into a bar--looking for work--in the little town of Red Rock, Wyoming.
Desperate for any kind of employment, Mike takes advantage of a case of mistaken identity when the bar owner, Wayne (the late great J.T. Walsh), asks him if he is there "for the job." Expecting a job as bartender, Mike is horrified to find he has been hired as a assassin to kill Wayne's wife, Suzanne (Lara Flynn Boyle). Mike decides to keep Wayne's money but has no intention of honoring the contract.
Stopping on his way out of town to warn Suzanne of her husband's plan, Mike finds her willing to double the contract price if he agrees to kill Wayne. Figuring that he has landed in a nest of vipers, Mike writes a letter to the sheriff and plans to 'get the hell out of Dodge' when fate intervenes yet again in the form of a traffic accident. The basically decent Mike takes the man who stumbled in front of his car to the Emergency Room only to find that the man was not only hit by his car but was shot as well. A world of trouble opens up for Mike when the real contract killer, Lyle (Dennis Hopper), finally shows up. What follows are a series of abortive attempts by Mike to leave town--only to be thwarted by chance and circumstance.
"Red Rock West" has a hard luck hero, a beautiful and bad-to-the-bone femme fatale, and enough treachery, betrayal, layered suspense, plot twists and duplicitous characters to satisfy any hardcore classic noir film fan. The eerie deep shadows of classic noir have been replaced by panoramic views of Wyoming's barren sagebrush wastelands. The soundtrack is supplied by such country greats as Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam (who also has a small cameo role) and Shania Twain.
This is a 'no frills' DVD without a single extra. It didn't really matter to me though as the movie itself was so outstanding and the transfer was quite good. Along with such modern day classics as "Blood Simple" and "Kill Me Again," "Red Rock West" is one of the best examples of the neo-noir crime film."
Dahl's Trilogy - part two
Francisco Miguel Valada | 01/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the three Dahl's "film noir" / "road movie" and possibly the best of all. The other are "Kill Me Again" and "The Last Seduction". In this particular movie, Nicolas Cage and Dennis Hopper have excellent performances and give life to a brilliant script. Not as brilliant as in "Vampire's Kiss" and not as energic as in Lynch's "Wild At Heart", Nicolas Cage has, even though, a great performance as a naive and pure soul and Cage's character comes to be the only who makes his way out of the plot. A lesson of life? Dennis Hopper shows us that even after being on the road as an "Easy Rider" and playing the dark and mysterious "Blue Velvet"'s character, he is still on the run. As in the other two movies which complete Dahl's trilogy, there is a "femme fatale", a certain amount of money, there are men in whom she is only interested because of the cash and there is an unknown end, different at each one of the three movies."
Film Noir, yes, but with a new dimension
faience | Murrells Inlet, SC USA | 02/12/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, this is Film Noir, but it's a new step in Film Noir evolution....and not just because it's funny! Cage's character does get into hot water because of one tiny slide into temptation. When he's mistaken for a hired killer, his desperation for money gets the better of him. But he's just too nice to do the job. As he goes deeper into the muck, he has three choices: give in & be corrupted...or walk away & leave these nut-cases to their own dysfunctional devices. Even that wouldn't be enough, though: he's determined to go with the third choice: stay in the game & Make The World a Better Place.Cage can pull it off. His essential goodness seems very real, and the befuddled expression on his face, when confronted by the greed of the other characters, is hilarious. The movie has enough action, but it's really a well-crafted balance of thriller and fable."