From a person who doesn’t really understand the concept of a “western movie” and has probably seen a total of two westerns in his entire life, who would have guessed that two directors whose talent comes from quirky comedies, can master the art of Cowboys, damsels in distress, and good old fashioned gun fighting?
True Grit, a new telling of the classic novel by Charles Portis, tells the story of Mattie Ross (newcomer Hailee Steinfeld) , a fourteen year old girl who shows that moxie and spunk can be found in any teenager, who is willing to go on a journey to avenge her father’s death and find his killer. In the process she finds U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) who may be one of the meanest, drunkest, one eye seeing gun slingers around, but surely has a kind spirit and will go against his limits and decide to take young Mattie on the journey.
Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) joins Cogburn to hunt the killer, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) and has his heart set out on finding him so that he may collect the reward that the state of Texas has to offer him. But, when young Mattie arrives with the men, LaBoeuf takes matters into his own hands leaving Rooster and Mattie to hunt Chaney themselves.
From then on Rooster and Mattie…..well you are going to have to watch to find out! The last twenty minutes or so of the film, are the key elements in showing the bravery of all the characters and leaves the audience (the audience I was with anyway) waiting for the final fight of justice!
Now, for those of you who may say that they need to watch the original John Wayne movie from 1969 so that they can compare which is the better, you can, but it won’t help that much. You see, this True Grit is not a “remake” because much of its source comes from the original novel. Joel and Ethan Coen make this movie both dramatic and comedic and from those elements, it makes the movie the must see western of the twenty first century. Jeff Bridges, who won an Academy Award last year, was a perfect match for this role, because he. IS WESTERN. There is no doubt about it that he was just perfectly born into this role and he is helped in his comic humor with the puns from little ol’ Matt Damon. And with much praise, young Hailee Steinfeld just knocked it out of the park. Pure talent.
Overall, True Grit , is one western that I could watch over and over and cannot wait for the DVD release! Seeing it, will make you appreciate a western and continue to for years to come!
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin
**** out of 4
Reviewed by Christian - Age 16