DVD: The Righteous and the Wicked
Director: Craig A. Butler
Starring: Jeremy Owen, Billy Garberina
Release Date: November 15, 2011
It is both simple and difficult to describe the plot of The Righteous and the Wicked. At its most basic, it is a Western film filled with bad guys, good guys, bad guys gone good, and good guys gone bad. While that and a few hundred cowboy hats, horses, tumbleweeds, and a saloon make for a film that falls in the Western genre, making a good Western requires a whole other list of ingredients. It seems Craig A. Butler, writer and director of The Righteous and the Wicked, knows that too. Unfortunately, I’m not certain he has succeeded.
Don’t misunderstand me, The Righteous and the Wicked isn’t a bad film. Clearly, Mr. Butler has a love for the genre. But this film doesn’t stand out.
The movie follows a rag-tag group of outlaws and want-to-be outlaws, looking to make some quick money by robbing a bank. It looks to be an easy gig, what with one of the gang getting a job as a sheriff’s deputy and another man working as a guard. Then a mysterious man starts to take out the group one by one, and the whole heist falls apart. Who is this mysterious vigilante and what does he want with this group?
Overall, it isn’t a bad film. It is a movie that wants to be a Western and succeeds at being a Western. See, they are wearing cowboy hats and cowboy boots. Look, they are cooking food over a campfire in the middle of a desert. Look over there, a gun fight at noon. So yes, this is a Western. Unfortunately, I found myself not caring about the characters and their outcomes. I was not pushed to care about whether or not they succeeded with the bank robbery. I just was not given any reason to care.
If you need a Western to play in the background, during a party or to just to make Western-style noise, this will do the trick. Really, there are far better Westerns to spend your money on.