Good For Nothing (2012)

23 Nov

Having grown up watching all the classic 60s Westerns I was curious to see how the New Zealand made Good For Nothing compared with its American counterparts, and the answer is surprisingly well. Director Mike Wallis has managed to create a real gem that punches well above its weight. The plot centres around the exploits of Isabella Montgomery (Inge Rademeyer) kidnapped by an outlaw (Cohen Holloway as ‘the Man’). In the ensuing confusion she is mistaken for the outlaw’s accomplice and with a posse in hot pursuit the tension builds to the inevitable shoot-out.

An underlying theme of many Westerns is one of transformation and that certainly applies to this film.The shifting dynamics of the kidnapper-hostage relationship holds the film together and here the two leads both deliver stand-out performances. Rademeyer’s subdued portrayal of the English ‘lady’ fighting for her survival in the Old West perfectly complements Holloway’s ruthless but ultimately likeable cowboy. The supporting cast are solid throughout, with the posse members in particular providing some nice comedic touches.

No good Western is complete without reference to the landscape and Wallis and his crew have certainly done their homework with beautiful New Zealand locations providing a convincing American Wild West back drop. With dialogue kept to a minimum composer John Psathas is given a free rein, and with the help of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, has crafted a soundtrack that suitably enhances the often stunning visuals.

A nicely paced blend of action, drama, and a dash of humour, this is independent film-making at its best. With the occasional nod to the great Sergio Leone classics Good For Nothing is a worthy addition to the Western genre.

By Roger Beatson

Good For Nothing is now available for purchase at all major retail outlets.

For more information check out: http://www.goodfornothingmovie.com/

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