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Review: Blackthorn

Mateo Gil's prequel to Butch and Cassidy's tale
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 11, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars

This is one sequel superior to the original — if the original were Butch and Sundance: The Early Days. Otherwise Mateo Gil's tale of what might have happened had Butch Cassidy escaped the Bolivian Army goes wrong when it flashes back to the period covered by George Roy Hill's 1969 Western. Comparisons are invidious, starting with the trio of callow actors who fill in for the youthful Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and Katharine Ross. Sam Shepard, however, as the long-in-the tooth, 1927 version of Butch, exudes suitable orneriness. Under the title alias, he's now a horse-breeder high in the Andes, but thoughts of his nephew (or is it his son?) back home stirs him to return. On the way he bumps into the scalawag Eduardo (Eduardo Noriega), himself on the lam after robbing a mine, whose attempts to steal Butch's horse throw the two into an uneasy alliance. Despite a twist at the end and some striking scenery, this revival suggests that some legends are best left in peace.

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