Captain Joseph J. Blocker a legendary army captain must complete a mission he did not want to be part of, escorting a dying Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory to return back to his home.
I thought the suspense that was built up from start to finish in this film was pretty outstanding. With a truly brutal opening scene to really set the tone of what people were having to deal with in America in 1892. Chief Yellow Hawk had been imprisoned for seven years but by orders of the President he is to return to his home to die as he has an illness. Joe is seen as the only person to be able to take on this mission and ensuring safe passage and delivery. He does not want to do it, considering the history with the Native Americans.
Rosalie Quaid was found along the way as she was dealing with the brutal murders of her whole family, including a small baby. When Joe and his company find her they keep her safe and she feels safe with them. I felt the character build up was very impressive and you began to care about the company and you could feel that they were going to get along with each other better than ever expected.
I felt as though the emotional journey was very good as well, being fully attached to the characters and hoping better choices would be made. Eventually being able to admit that they have all been in the wrong for the battles and fighting that has taken place over the years. With needless killing for both sides, which certainly does build everything up to breaking point and you are left wondering and on edge to what is going to happen next. Nothing seems to go right for our party even with that letter from the President.
Christian Bale was very impressive in the leading role having to show the battle Joe was facing in his morals, the things he had done in the past and where he sees his future. A tough role to take on and he does have to rely a lot on his expressions at times instead of the dialogue. I really did enjoy seeing him in this type of role. Rosmund Pike was outstanding showing the trauma of her character after unthinkable losses. I thought Ben Foster stole a couple of the scenes that he was in, is he a go to actor for a western film now?
I always feel a little bit apprehensive when heading into watch a western film, although I am starting to wonder why I feel like that considering I always end up enjoying them. They are slow burners, with high suspense and tension build up, but always have incredibly impressive performances. This was no different, so maybe I should really embrace this genre a lot more than I currently do! Well, worth watching for the performances and the storyline is very interesting with plenty of twists and turns.