SERAPHIM FALLS
© 2007 by C.E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
L to R: Pierce Brosnan as Gideon and Liam
Neeson as Carver in
SERAPHIM FALLS.

© 2007 Samuel Goldwyn Films

It's one of the oldest tales around: a hunter and
neo-Western
SERAPHIM FALLS, co-written and
directed by TV veteran David Von Ancken making
his feature directorial debut.

Wasting no time, the movie thrusts the
audience into the thick of things. We watch
Gideon (Pierce Brosnan) set up camp and make
a fire in the snowy setting of the Ruby
Mountains. Without warning or explanation, he
is shot in the arm and he takes off with a group
of men in pursuit led by Carver (Liam Neeson).
Immediately, there are questions. Who is
Gideon? Who is Carver? Why is pursuing him? It
soon becomes clear that Carver is paying the
other men a large sum of money to capture but
not kill Gideon. Since the setting for the movie
is 1868, we can make some assumptions, but
one should let the film unfold.

There's a cat-and-mouse quality to the first half
of the film that is intriguing, mostly because the
terse screenplay keeps the audience guessing
about the relationship between the two main
characters. Brosnan, all grizzled and hirsute, is
a much more formidable opponent than first
thought. He systematically picks off the men in
Carver's posse (including actors John Robinson
as a callow youth, Ed Lauter as a mercenary,
and Michael Wincott as the sharpest of the
bunch).

The action of the movie travels from the snowy
mountains to a desert region where the final
confrontation between the two men occurs. By
this point, though, the audience doesn't really
care since Von Ancken has dragged the story
out. (There's also a weird cameo by Anjelica
Huston and her character could spur much
debate -- is she real or a figment of the men's
imaginations? Or is she really the Devil in
disguise? Or an angel?)

Brosnan and Neeson are both good actors and
they are nicely matched here. The reason for the
enmity between them is solid, but by the time
of the big reveal it seems almost anticlimactic,
particularly because the film drags on and on
and on. (Some judicious editing would have
helped matters perhaps.) The best thing about

SERAPHIM FALLS
is the extraordinary
cinematography by Academy Award winner John
Toll.


Rating:               C-
MPAA Rating:    R for violence and brief
                  language
Running time:   115 mins.