SEARCHERS 2.0 directed by Alex Cox

“Searchers 2.0” is Alex Cox’ first theatrical feature since 2002’s wild “Revenger’s Tragedy” and he definitely continues his eccentric style of work (as seen in Repo Man, Sid and Nancy, Straight to Hell, and Walkers). This film is an offbeat “road” comedy about a revenge plot aimed for justice dreamed up by two former child actors (Ed Pansullo as Ed Fletcher and Del Zamora as Mel Torres) Buffalo Bill vs. Doc Holliday. That sole appearance was enough for a lifetime, given the nasty experience on the set where legendary screenwriter Fritz Frobisher (the always intense Sy Richardson) whipped them to get them crying for a scene. So when Mel and Fred find out that Frobisher is having a screening/Q and A of the Buffalo Bill vs. Doc Holliday film in Monument Valley, they go on a road trip with the assistance of Mel’s Daughter Delilah (Jaclyn Jonet) and get involved in some weird hijacks on the road to Arizona to make things “even” or, as stated, “Kick his a**!”

The first thing to say is that the cinematography is breathtaking—courtesy of Steven Fieberg—and the music from Dan Wool is great as well, but the film, in spite of some great moments, lacks a certain emphasis to keep it going and it falls flat. The acting was basically middle-of-the-road (no pun intended) stuff. I found Ed Pansullo’s rendition of Ed Fletcher a little flat and stiff. He does, however, succeed in making the former “child actor” unlikable but, at the same time, unbelievable. Sy Richardson, on the other hand, is perfect for the cold, misunderstood screenwriter and takes charge of each scene he is in.

Being an Alan Cox fan, this was somewhat of a letdown. I expected a more biting work, particularly in these times. The film seemed “incomplete” compared to what he has done in the past. However, some fans loved it due to the fact that it had been a long time since Cox had done a theatrical film. His usual trademark films are always imaginative satires. The disappearance of his token techniques maybe due to the fact that Cox’s last few directorial productions were made for television. Hopefully his next work will be put him back in the…“saddle” again.
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Weak: 1 Star   Average: 2 Stars   Good: 3 Stars   Very Good: 4 Stars   Excellent: 5 Stars


About Author

Michael Macdonald

Michael MacDonald is student majoring in animation at The Art Institute of California, Los Angeles. In younger days he was a Film Studies major at The University of Colorado at Boulder. He has been an assistant manager of a movie theater and has spent some time in the U.S. Army. He has always enjoyed the captivating power of film and lives for those moments when art hits home and really makes you feel.

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