An old gunslinger and his daughter must face the consequences of his past, when the son of a man he murdered years ago arrives to take his revenge.
Nicolas Cage, perhaps the busiest man in Hollywood, is back with his first film of 2023, an old fashioned western called appropriately ‘The Old Way’. In it, he stars as Colton Briggs, a former gunslinger who has hung up his weapon for a quieter life running a small farm and store with his wife Ruth (Kerry Knuppe) and his 12 year old daughter Brooke (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). Escaping his past is not that simple though and he finds himself drawn back into the ways of his previous life when a relative of a former adversary comes looking for him.
In the tradition of movies such as ‘True Grit’ or more recently, ‘News of the World’ with Tom Hanks, ‘The Old Way’ is a western centred on the bond between a father and daughter (or surrogate daughter in the case of those aforementioned films), with the father figure trying and failing to shield the young girl from the harsh reality of life in the Old West. That means there is a familiarity to ‘The Old Way’ that can be comforting, and it’s quite enjoyable to see another understated Cage performance, but it also means there’s very little new here that hasn’t been covered before in superior movies. It is a film that very much plays it safe, content to hit the same beats as we’re used to seeing in the genre without having the boldness to try something new.
At the heart of ‘The Old Way’ is the theme of revenge and whether or not a man can ever truly change who he really is, but the filmmakers never do anything really interesting with those ideas and ‘The Old Way’ is ultimately quite forgettable.
Directed By: Brett Donowho
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Le Gros, Nick Searcy, Abraham Benrubi, Clint Howard and Kerry Knuppe