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Outlaw Posse
 review by Bobby Blakey

In 1993 Mario Van Peebles set his focus on the western genre with his film Posse that he both directed and starred in. The film featured a great cast and brought a new tone to the genre. Now he is returning to the west with his latest film Outlaw Posse. The film stars William Mapother, John Carroll Lynch, D.C Young Fly, Mandela Van Peebles, Amber Reign Smith, Neil McDonough, Jake Manley, Allen Payne, Cam Gigandet, M. Emmet Walsh, with Edward James Olmos, Cedric the Entertainer and Whoopi Goldberg. Could this latest western bring more of Peebles unique style, or will it be to slow on the draw?

Outlaw Posse follows Chief, who returns from years of hiding in Mexico to claim stolen gold hidden in the hills of Montana in 1908. In his quest, he reunites an ensemble of fresh & familiar faces - together they fight off Angel, whose rationale to the gold leaves a trail of deception and dead bodies.

I remember seeing Posse in the theaters and loving the overall tone and just coolness of it and the cast. When this film was announced I had hoped it was a sequel to the original, but alas it is its own thing with no connection unless I missed it. I have missed Peebles and always thought he was a great talent in front and behind the camera with films like New Jack City, Panther, Badasssss! and of course Posse. This latest outing brings yet another great cast together and while has some good moments doesn’t quite hit every target.


Peebles does a great job in the role and behind the camera, but it was clearly a more modest budget here and at times it shows. The story is pretty simple and keeps it grounded and using some real-life historical people creates an interesting direction for the overall tone. Surprisingly, where it faulters more than anything is in some of the performances. Not sure how it was edited, the time restraints due to budget but some just fall short and even end up being pretty bad which I

hate saying as I have no doubt, they were working with what they had. It just wasn’t enough.


There is a good movie here and with a better budget I think Peebles would have found it, but instead it ends up kind of generic. I did enjoy the film and think it works well for what it is and the attention to detail in set and costume designs takes you back to the old west. It just never really finds its footing out of the simplicity of things holding it down. The action elements elevate it a bit and Peebles is still as cool as ever.


I would have loved to see this converted into a sequel to Posse as it would have had more heft to it, but the real-life connections showcased at the end shifts it to more of a homage to this great people. It’s an average straight to video flick, but in a world where we just don’t get many westerns, especially good ones, it holds its own place to feed the genre and I think worthy of giving it a shot to make your own judgement.


Decide for yourself and check out Outlaw Posse in theaters now from Lionsgate.

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