Tuesday, June 8, 2010
3 out 5. Ridley Scott's first feature, THE DUELLISTS was surprisingly entertaining and touched with an experienced hand. The cinematography and costumes really stand out as does the shooting style. Scott often opens up scenes with close-ups and then pulls back to reveal the scene creating a nice abstract tableau for the scene to build from. His compositions are graphically balanced and confident in their framing and blocking of actors. The story and script were interesting if a bit outlandish but I think people like Harvey Keitel's character kept it grounded. For me it fell down with Carradine's performance and character choices. I wasn't convinced what his character said or did until maybe the ending sequences which was really great. If you're a Ridley Scott fan or enjoy period pieces like Kubrick's BARRY LYNDON, you'll enjoy this mostly solid film.