Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
Starring: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan
The Wild Bunch is a story about failure. A really weirdly bloody story about failure. Not weird in that it’s strange for a western to be bloody (though it was at the time, that’s why this movie became well-known), but in that the way the bloodiness is portrayed is weird. It’s all slow motion and bullets apparently leave tiny pressurized fountains of blood behind them when they go through people. Guess I’m just too desensitized.
The story takes place in the early 1900’s, near the end of the “old west”, and it’s about a group of bandits who are trying to make one last grab at a fortune before this new world passes them and their kind by. They’re hired by a Mexican bandito to steal some guns from the US army, but the operation goes awry and they end up having to tackle with old age and even a bit of newfound morality.
It’s not a bad movie, by any means. It’s about an hour too long, in my opinion, but it’s not bad. For me, the interesting inner character struggle of William Holden (which is by and far the best part of the film) is too frequently interrupted by the staccato of gunplay and “gritty” stuff like visiting prostitutes. It’s like if someone wrote an introspective story about a guy retiring, but they made it into a comic book drawn by Rob Liefeld.