"You ain't ugly like me, it's just that we both have got scars."
It takes a lot for a Western to impress me. It has to transcend its genre. It has to be massively cinematic. It has to have incredibly likable characters - both heroes and villains.
Unfortunately, despite any perceived hype I had coming into it, Unforgiven did not meet any of these criteria.
Clint Eastwood seems bored, tired, and grumpy. Gene Hackman's a caricature. Morgan Freeman's miscast. There aren't any particularly memorable shots, the score is lackluster, and I didn't really get a whole lot out of the story.
What am I missing? Why does everyone seem to love it to death? I didn't hate or dislike the film, but it was really just... mediocre.
Unforgiven was at the time of this review at #50 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #147 among the best films of all time). Here's how it entered my chart:
Unforgiven vs. The French Connection
Hackman's so much better in The French Connection than he is in Unforgiven.
Unforgiven vs. Batman Forever
Despite it being nowhere near Burton's films, it's still a movie I'd rather see again than Unforgiven.
Unforgiven vs. Who's Harry Crumb?
Unforgiven wins here, cause a middling John Candy comedy isn't going to.
Unforgiven vs. Swingers
I really disliked Swingers. I didn't dislike Unforgiven - I was just really underwhelmed by it.
Unforgiven vs. Autómata
There are some big, big problems with Autómata, but it's got a more interesting premise and characters than Unforgiven does.
Unforgiven vs. The Bourne Legacy
Yeah, the Hawkeye Bourne was just ok. Unforgiven is slightly better. I could almost go either way on this matchup.
Unforgiven vs. Ultraviolet
Not even Milla Jovovich can save Ultraviolet from its ultra-terrible execution.
Unforgiven vs. Charlie's Angels
If you're going to remake a TV show, there are worse ways to go about it than Charlie's Angels. The cast! Bill Murray. Sam Rockwell. Crispin Glover! I want to rewatch it again soon.
Unforgiven vs. Father of the Bride
A pretty unremarkable Steve Martin film will lose to an inferior Western.
Unforgiven is now ranked #1144 out of 1456 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Nathan Chase is a co-founder and the designer of Flickchart. He's also a multimedia designer & developer living in central Florida, an online culture and social networking enthusiast, a proud father, an avid PC gamer, an incessant movie watcher, known for an eclectic musical taste, and often writing and performing music - on the drums, guitar, piano, or computer.
You can find Nathan on Flickchart as Zampa, and email him at email@example.com.