7.5/10 I spent the first ten minutes of this “Deadwood” film in bewilderment at how old the entire cast looks after jumping forward 13 years. Once I got used to that aspect and settled in, I was free to enjoy this worthy conclusion to the series. It wasn’t perfect, but after all this time, this can finally give fans the closure they need and deserve. Speaking of its flaws, let’s tackle those first. A couple of shots near the beginning involving a speeding train are obviously CGI (due to budgetary restraints). The general setup of Mr. Hearst spending so much time in Deadwood again after he despised the place and left it at the end of season three seemed out of character and a little forced just so they could set up the plot of the film. Since the show had such a huge ensemble cast, I figured not everyone would get sufficient time to be further developed and have a fleshed out subplot and I was right. Some characters don’t return at all (Powers Boothe, who played Cy, died and is ironically buried in Deadwood Cemetery) like Silas, played by Titus Welliver, Jack Langrishe, played by Brian Cox and Hugo Jarry, played by Stephen Tobolowsky in the show and some characters who do return don’t have much to do (Mrs. Ellsworth/Alma Garret and Dan Dority for example). A very mild love triangle (emotional, not physical) was hinted at but not developed so it felt unnecessary and pointless. There were also some flashback sequences to the show which is great if you never saw the show or did so long ago that you need a refresher, but it felt a little lazy to me. Since this is a film instead of the show, the cinematic feel and larger scope feels grand but actually made it feel slightly less like the show. I would have forgone the wide shots of Deadwood, speeding trains and cinematic feel for the dirty, gritty look of the show. I would have loved to have seen a 13 episode fourth season instead but beggars can’t be choosers. Minor complaints aside, this film does deliver the goods. Besides the couple characters I mentioned who either didn’t appear or didn’t have as much to do, everyone else has great character arcs and for a film under two hours long, they were able to do the vast majority of characters justice. The production design, costume design, props and all around mise en scène are somehow even better than the show, which excelled in all of those categories. Where they took a lot of the characters from when we last saw them seemed natural and realistic. The pacing is fantastic and flies by quicker than the opening train shot and the score perfectly well suited. The little action that is displayed is well done and exciting and perhaps the strongest element of the film are the emotional elements. We are allowed some happy moments and the subplot involving Al’s character is the most emotionally impactful. The film ends on a perfect note, letting us know that there is no sequel coming but that this is the end. While not perfect (much like the show), this epic conclusion is what fans have been waiting for for over a decade and if you enjoyed the show, this is a must watch.
#DrawHearstBlood / #AStarStuddedWedding / #HeWillBeUtterlyMissed / #PlayTheClaimGame / #ABeautifulDayInTheStatehood / #TheresSafetyInLumbers