Review

Western’s aren’t as in high supply as they once were but True Grit drags out some big Holywood names to such as Matt Damon (Green Zone), Jeff Bridges (Tron Legacy) and Josh Brolin in the remake of a dramatic tale that sees a Texas Ranger and US Marshall employed by a 14 year old girl to hunt down and bring to justice her fathers killer.

Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) is a 14 year old girl who is sent by her grieving mother to sort out the family business after the untimely death of Mattie’s father at the hands of the elusive Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). After proving that her age is just a number by negotiating with the local cotton trader, Mattie goes in search of the local hero, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) who turns out to be a whiskey-loving US Marshall who is in trouble as much as he solves. A brief encounter with a wandering Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) means Mattie has two people under her employment as they travel towards Cherokee land to hunt down and bring Chaney to justice.
True Grit 2010 Film review PlayEject
The unstable Rooster is a hinderance but also invaluable to the mission whereas LaBoeuf has a huge chip on his shoulder and would rather go it alone than be constantly insulted by Rooster. Mattie has her hands full and her resolve tested as she shows maturity way beyond her years.

The same should be said about Hailee Steinfeld who plays Mattie – its easy to forget that she is portraying a girl of 14 and is easy to think of her as being a strong leading lady in any drama film.

For all the plaudits True Grit has had since its release, we had high expectations – and weren’t let down. We did expect perhaps a bit more action or gun fights, especially being a Western but thats not to say that we were bored. In fact the story of True Grit doesn’t really dictate for an all-out gun-fest and could have cheapened the whole film.

There’s a few good one-liners to lighten the film and Jeff Bridges plays his part of a seasoned, whiskey guzzling veteran well who is constantly ‘talking’ (although some would call it ‘rambling’) either about his past wives or pearls of wisdom. Stepping into the same role played by the legendary John Wayne from all those years ago, Bridges does a fantastic job of making the role his own and coming across as a real old-fashioned cowboy in the process.
True Grit 2010 Film review PlayEject
Although on the main bill of cast, Josh Brolin isn’t in True Grit as much as we thought he would be, despite being the main culprit (or ‘Bandito’ if we’re doing the Western bit!) which was a bit of a shame as he’s not a bad actor.

Overall, we thought True Grit was pretty good – it lacked any real action and instead concentrated more on the relationship between Mattie and Rooster which surprised us a little but the emotional story-telling and brilliant character acting from the main roles was refreshing. We do llike a good Western but rather than the six-shooting adventure we were hoping for, we felt left wanting more when the end credits finally rolled.

Dark humour in places with bland action scenes but with good performances from Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld make True Grit average in our opinion.

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