Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Never heard of it.

Big Kill (2018) on IMDb

Plot Overview

The town of Big Kill, Arizona, circa 1841, is missing most of its listed population of 8700. After the silver mines flooded, people left. Dry goods store owner Henry Strong stayed on, because he had all his savings invested in the store. With him is his lovely daughter Josie (Elizabeth McLaughlin.) They just turn a blind eye to the two bit cattle rustling operation that brings in cowboys who along with some local ranchers keep the town afloat.

at deskGambler's
Royal FlushOne day in walks dapper Phila­delphia accountant Jim Andrews (Christoph Sanders) who is looking for his older brother Grant (K.C. Clyde) owner of the Easy Lady Saloon. Grant invited him to come share the prosperity, but his letter is two years out of date. Acting as Jim's guides are two professional gamblers: Travis Parker (Clint Hummel) and Jake Logan (Scott Martin) who seem to have been evicted from every­where else for reasons unknown.

The town is run by an absent mayor, a hard-nosed Preacher (Jason Patric), practiced hench­man Johnny Kane (Lou Diamond Phillips), and sundry muscle including a brute of a “big buck” (“very large black man”) “boy” Jack­son (Jermaine Washington) who is conflicted about his place in the wild west (“I ain't no butcher.”) Killings (“situations”) are the order of the day in Big Kill. When the late arrivals over­stay their welcome to face down some serious fire­power, we seriously question whether the accountant has made up for lack of firearm proficiency with a big bore Colt, and was Jake's alleged quick draw—not shown since the opening scene—as Johnny surmised, really more a matter of shooting some­one who wasn't trying to shoot back? He's going to need to do better than he does at cards, where his ineptitude is so laugh­able people can't wait to play him.


The opening scenes show General Morales of the Mexican Army (Danny Trejo) with five armed troops (“Andale!”) chasing Jake and Travis across the border into Texas (“That's an act of war”) where they seek refuge in an unnamed cavalry outpost. U.S. Col. Granger defends them from the Mexican aggression although he allows they must have done “something stupid” to provoke such a response. Jake says it was just “an honest card game.” I suppose this illustrates, (Prov. 28:28) “When the wicked rise, men hide them­selves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.” They pick up a new travelling companion, Jim, at the fort.

(Prov. 29:1) “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that with­out remedy.” Johnny Kane's reputation as a cold blooded killer just grows and grows (“Is that a threat?” ¶“Yes.”) Until one day …

(Prov. 29:2) “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” A lot of good towns­folk are not happy with the way Big Kill is being run. Maybe they'll elect a new mayor.

(Prov. 29:3) “Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.” Jim would have done his father proud with his success with­out compromise. Travis and Jake, how­ever, consorting with harlots are not on the road to success.

(Prov. 29:4) “The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts over­throweth it.” Grant did the town no good when he accepted a bribe to let the bad guys set up shop. Jim wants to set things right.

(Prov. 29:5) “A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.” The O'Reilly boys come into the saloon hooting and hollering. They're gonna make their youngest bro a man with a big prostitute. He gets a little more manly encounter than he bargained for.

(Prov. 29:6) “In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.” The corrupt preacher ensnares the town with crime. He isn't welcome to preside at a funeral where the sound­track delivers the song, “Amazing Grace.”

(Prov. 29:7) “The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.” The Andrews brothers want to make the town prosperous and respectable. The crooks running things want just to make money.

(Prov. 29:8) “Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.” The bad guys stir up trouble, but Jim is a peacemaker.

(Prov. 29:9) “If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.” Those card games provoke a lot of reaction.

(Prov. 29:10) “The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.” The preacher doesn't accept a farmer's innocence, but Jim in the final show­down is concerned about the preacher's preparation to meet his Maker.

Production Values

” (2018) was written and directed by Scott Martin. It stars Jason Patric, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Christoph Sanders. All the cast turned in great performances and especially memorable was Sanders. The various villains each exuded evil in his or her own way. MPAA rated it R for violence, some sexuality and brief language.

Historical clues place the story sometime between 1835 and 1846. The “Amazing Grace” tune was refined into its current form, as played over the funeral scene, by William Walker in 1835. General Morales (1802–1847) whose incursion into Texas constituted an “act of war” necessarily preceded the U.S.–Mexican War proper of 1846–48. Confronting the fort with his five men was, we suppose, homage to his final charge in 1836 of the Alamo over­whelming their Davy Crockett defense. Here another Davy organizes a more effective defense (“To your posts.”) Geography is spelled out for us as the travellers announce the states they traverse and the direction they're heading.

The film achieves a golden balance of fast action and mulling things over, of sardonic humor and rapier wit, of romance and lust, of a stirring hymn and a goofy Jew's harp, of western scenery and a deserted town. The photography of Mark Atkins was first rate, as was the original score by Kays Al-Atrakchi.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

“Big Kill” is a perfect adult western undermined only by the lack of interest in all westerns of late. If you're a western aficionado, don't miss it.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.