The Old Way (Blu-ray)

An old gunslinger and his daughter must face the consequences of his past, when the son of a man he murdered years ago arrives to take his revenge.

March 3, 2023 4 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

In a behind the scenes feature on this disc, much is made of this being Nicolas Cage’s first western. That is something of a big deal, especially for an actor with over 100 acting credits to his name. Unfortunately, The Old Way is a bit of a flat feature with little excitement on display. Only occasional moments of intrigue are present, but as a whole, the film becomes a bore.

Nic Cage plays Colton Briggs. He has a young daughter named Brooke (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). We see Colton in a flashback sequence early in the film in which he gets vengeance on a villain. Flash forward to the present, and this leads to men seeking revenge on Colton and this results in his wife’s passing. This sets the new plot in motion of Colton and his daughter seeking revenge.  There’s a bit of gunfire, and the film earns the R rating, but it can’t help but feel too small for its own good. I won’t say I cared too much about the outcome or the characters. Things don’t resonate as they should.

I will be the first to admit that the premise itself if a promising one. Sure, seeking revenge isn’t the most original idea, but it can result in an entertaining film if done right. There are some solid moments in the flick, but they’re too sporadic. There might be excitement, but then it returns to its slower ways and just sort of sits there. Western purists may want to give it a go, but all others should watch one you’re already familar with and enjoy before giving this the time.

Video: How’s it look?

With an appropriately wide 2.39:1 transfer, we get some strong details here and a strong transfer overall. That doesn’t surprise me for such a modern western, but you never know how the results will turn out. I might have not cared much for the film, but the results here are great.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The DTS HD track is also solid, with just enough kick where it needs it. This is mostly a talky film, but there’s clarity in the vocals and that’s where it counts. The surrounds add nice depth to the western atmosphere. All told, this track satisfies.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Audio Commentary – You have two options here. One is by Composer Andrew Morgan Smith and the other features Director Brett Donowho.
  • The Old Way: Behind the Scenes – In a better-than-average behind the scenes, we get a lot of good tidbits. There is some praising going on, particularly about Cage, but this is still a good one. Lots of interviews with the cast and crew.
  • Scoring Sessions – This gives a little look into the recording process.

The Bottom Line

There’s real sincerity here, but much of The Old Way feels too sluggish and pedestrian to make much of an impact. I was mostly bored during the picture, which is unfortunate because it was clearly a passion project for those involved. Skip it.

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