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Gunfight At Rio Bravo           review by Bobby Blakey

Three-time Mr. Universe Alexander Nevsky has already been making a name for himself in the action world with films like Showdown in Manila and Maximum Impact. Now he is taking on the western genre in his latest film Gunfight At Rio Bravo that he also co-wrote. The film co-stars legendary martial arts action stars Olivier Gruner and Matthias Hues along with Natalie Denise Sperl, John Marrs and Joe Cornet who also directs. Could this flick do these action stars and the genre justice or will it be slow on the draw?

Gunfight AT Rio Bravo follows mysterious Russian gunslinger Ivan Turchin who rides into a small Texas town and runs afoul of a bloodthirsty outlaw gang known as The Hellhounds. Outmanned and outgunned, the town must put their trust in Turchin to protect them from annihilation at the hands of the bandits. The gunslinger finds allies in the form of Marshal Austin Carter and Sheriff Vernon Kelly, and together the three must make a desperate stand against impossible and violent odds.

If you add Matthias Hues or Olivier Gruner to a film I am instantly there. I have been a fan of them both since 80s and 90s and while I know not all the films they have done have worked I am still there to support and give them a shot. Going in to this I know it being a western I was unlikely to get any of the martial arts action I had hoped for, but I still crossed my fingers especially after seeing Art Camacho as fight choreographer. Sadly my fears were true and it steered clear from it outside of getting to see Gruner kick a couple times so I was thankful for that. Hues is stuck in a jail cell for most of the movie and never gets the full action piece he deserves, but I will take what I can get.

The film itself is very low budget and does its best to capture the vibe and look of the old west. On this front it is successful with the exception of the look choice

for Nevsky. He looks like he is from a different film and always just looked out of place. HE doesn’t look bad or anything and I get that they were trying to minimal at first and then badass, but it just didn’t match the rest of the classic western looks.

The story is pretty simple and straight forward and is the kind of western story you have seen a thousand times so works. There seems to be an attempt to add more depth to the characters at times that’s just not necessary for this kind of story and it just tends to slow it all down. I expected it to be action heavy and while there is plenty of shoot outs in the final act it takes a while to get to any of that.

It is pretty common straight to video product that didn’t work all that great for me. I hate to fully badmouth it as I recognize the effort for a lower budget film and what they pulled off, but it sadly doesn’t work all that great. When the film ended I was tagged with a couple of surprises with one being the announcement of a follow-up called Taken At Rio Bravo that brings Nevsky back in the lead role and looks to also have the amazing Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock co-starring which means I will be there for it. It also had a proper ending with history of the real person its based on which I had no idea about going in.

While not the action flick I had hoped I still walked away learning something new historically, got to see both Hues and Gruner on screen together and the hopes of more martial arts legends for the follow-up so I will at least take that as a win on some level.

Decide for yourself and check out Gunfight At Rio Bravo available now on digital, On-Demand and DVD from Shout! Studios.

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