Nothing more than a typical western that clumsily tries to be more.
Reviewed by NWRdr4 for The Searchers at 2010-02-06 21:04:26
I'm not sure I understand the hype for this film. A complex character study? No way.
The main flaw: John Wayne's racist, obsessed character, Ethan, is (at one point in the film) ready to shoot his niece for becoming "a buck" (think Dances with Wolves). Yet, near the end of the movie, as he's chasing her down, he suddenly decides to save her, and carry her off into the sunset. This is not characterization--it's a cop-out, the writer's way of saying "I'm too lazy to do anything else, so I'll throw this at the audience." It's frustrating as hell, considering the many great moments the movie had. The scene should've been fleshed-out, so that we can see some epiphany that Ethan comes to.
Anyway, if you wanna see a good John Wayne western there's plenty other better ones you can watch.