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July 23, 1985 - Image 9

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Michigan Daily, 1985-07-23

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, July 23, 1985 -Page 9
'Pale Rider' falls out of the saddle

supply of dynamite. The man with no
By Chris Lauer name isn't exceedingly clever this
time around; one suspects that
P ALE Rider, starring Clint East- Casper the Friendly Ghost or Richie
wood's face, is a creatively Rich could dispense with the bad guys
lackadaisical return to the western, in trench coats with a lot less fuss,
the genre that made Eastwood's and a lot less dynamite.
squinty eyes a household image. Lit- Let's suppose for a minute that I'm
tle does Eastwood apparently know, it a character in Pale Rider. I'm
takes more than horses, six-shooters, lounging around in my 1880-style
dynamite, and his face to make a range house, perhaps loading rifles or
western. something, when in plops a lighted
There's a certain feel to a western stick of dynamite. Naturally I'm
- something the old spaghetti grateful for a long wick - Eastwood's
westerns, including the ones East- character apparently had a smidgen
wood starred in A Fistful of Dollars; of humaneness. But here's where I
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, et part with Pale Rider's bad guys. In-
al.), used to be quite comfortable stead of utilizing the gift of time to
with, and which Kasdan's Silverado throw the stick of dynamite back or at
very effectively recalls - that East- least out of the house, what do they do
rwood never manages to recreate ex- but run out the front door only to look
cept as a few unimaginatively back to see the whole ranch house
dredged cliches that fail to be even blow up like an oil refinery. East-
faintly nostalgic not to mention ex- wood's character isn't so tough or
citing. clever; it's just that the bad guys are
Sure the scenery and associated such incredible morons. Let the man
cinematography are unquestionably with no name take a breather and
lush, but if I want to see exquisitely give me the dynamite.
photographed cacti I'd rather wait for Eastwood really is just relying on
an exhibit of desert flora stills at one his face. At the beginning the man
of the local art galleries - at least with no name is shrouded in com-
they wouldn't be obfuscated by the pelling mythical ambiguity - like in
haf-assed-mystical,qus-mig .
half- -scn quasi-smiling High Plains Drifter. He appears as if
tough-guy screen presence that in answer to a young girl's prayer and
Eastwood lamely proffers. arrives just as she is reciting to her
The plot is not ingenious: Five bad mother from the Bible: And I
guys in trench coats try to get the gold looked, and beheld a pale horse:
from the good people. Such simplicity and his name that sat on him was
is not bad in itself - High Plains Drif- Death, and Hell followed with
ter (which Eastwood also directed) him
had a similar plot - but Pale Rider hm
never gets beyond its comic-book It is revealed later that, curiously,
premise. No surpise - Eastwood's the man with no name is a priest, or
man-with-no-name character handily at least pretending to be one. Not only
guns down the trench-coated bad that but he and the head-honcho bad
I guys, but not without first expending guy know each other from some am-
- no surprise either - a rather large biguous previous encounter. This is

'Pale Rider,' starring Clint Eastwood's face, is a creatively lame-legged revival of the western.

kind of mysterious too because the
bad guy leader believes the man with
no name died long ago.
All this is very compelling but un-
fortunately the mythical stuff fizzles
or was dropped - a little of both I
think - halfway through. This movie
is sorely in need of some flashbacks -
how the two men (if the one is really a
man) know each other is never
resolved. Halfway through, the man
with no name becomes just another
boring marksman, with a flair for
dynamite.
None of the other characters
amount to much. Sydney Penny, as
the young girl whose prayer coin-
cides with the appearance of the pale
rider, is innocuous but forgettable.
Who knows what Penny, age 13, can
do - she was given so little to work
with. Her character alternately
gushes silly professions of love to the
man with no name and plays a car-
dboard maiden-in-distress bit - all to
no end. Her professions of love are
neither moving nor do they serve to
develop the mythical element of
Eastwood's character.
The scene where the man with no
name apparently beds the young
girl's mother is absolutely senseless.
Eastwood's face, which has become
synonymous with the man-with-no-
name character - Eastwood knows
this and relies on it - is simply not
enough.
7 HAIRCUTTERS
" NO WAITING
DASCOLA STYLISTS
Liberty off State 668-9329
MgpleMyU9q . ..... . 761-2733

1 ney ve gut nuuli
The Blue Riddim Band, who were the first white reggae band to be invited
to appear at the Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica, will perform at the Blind
Pig tonight beginning around 10 p.m. Blue Riddim, critically acclaimed
for their reggae/ska/Calypso/R&B soundhave shared the stage with the
likes of.ob'Marley, The Selector, and George Thorogood. Cover is45. ,

Art Associated Press
Herbert Kraft from West Germany won the 3rd Annual Face Making Con-
test in MoncFabeau, southeastern.Forance-onSunday. .,

1 1

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