Now, this is a how you do a remake. True Grit is so worth the venture out of the warmth of your crib and onto the frozen tundra. Just don’t do like I did and see it in a touristy area like Union Square or Times Square. Why, you ask… Because I nearly lost my temper and took it to the wild west on this skinny jean wearing youngster sitting behind me who couldn’t stop clipping my chair with his feet all because he couldn’t sit still. Here’s a hint for you douchebag, wear looser clothing! You’re a DUDE. If you don’t let ‘em breathe, they’ll demand their freedom, moron. I’m sorry, but I had to vent for a second.
So . . . Ethan and Joel Coen (Fargo, No Country for Old Men) these brothers (not brothAs) got busy on the rewrite of the classic John Wayne film and jumped behind the camera to direct what is a truly laudable reincarnation.
Jeff Bridges (Tron, Tron: Legacy), Matt “How ‘bout dem apples” Damon (Bourne Trilogy, Good Will Hunting), Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, Jonah Hex) and Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan, Casino Jack) all take a back seat to Hailee Steinfeld (some TV and Shorts, but no features).
IF YOU MUST KNOW:
14-year old Mattie Ross (Steinfeld) has come to collect her murdered father and settle his business. She intends to have justice for his murder and is determined to find the lawman capable of bringing in Tom Chaney (Brolin), the man who shot and killed her father. Did I mention she’s doing this on her own? Young, but incredibly wise beyond her years, the razor-tongued Mattie has gets her sights set on one Rueben “Rooster” Cogburn (Bridges) as her champion. Rooster happens to be an ill-tempered US Marshal, a war veteran, a dead shot shooter, and a serious drunk. But he’s also honorable and a straight talker… to everybody, whether you happen to be a killer with a gun pointed at him or a adolescent girl dangerously out of her depth. Mattie contracts Rooster to find and bring Chaney to justice (preferably so he can be “hanged” or in the alternative shot on the spot), but there’s a Texas Ranger also on the trail of Tom Chaney. LaBoeuf (Damon) is hunting Chaney and crosses paths with this vendetta-driven 14 year old and the aging agent.
In typical Coen brothers form, True Grit is very well written, especially the speaking parts for Mattie. Trust me, Urban Fam, we will be hearing from lil Hailee Steinfeld for many years to come in the same way we now hear from Abigail Breslin, Dakota Fanning, etc.
I had two issues with this flick (well, three if you count the euro-tool in the seat behind me) were 1) the pacing seemed a little off at times and 2) the Coen brothers seem to like to leave some sort of thought provoking statement at the end of their films and it doesn’t always work (for example, in No Country, when Tommy Lee Jones gives his soliloquy and then the movie just ends… WACK. I liken it to Spike Lee’s “WAKE UUUUUUUUP!” moment at the end of School Daze. So completely unnecessary.
That Dude gives True Grit: 4
1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.