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War Party Review

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A group of war re-enactors attempt to stage a hundred year anniversary battle between US Cavalry and Blackfeet Indians. But personal hostilities and a real gun lead to some all too real casualties.

★★★★★

A century after the Montana cavalry wiped out the local Indians, the redneck Mayor begs the Reservation boys to take part in a re-enactment of a typical cow-boys-and-Indians skirmish to boost the tourist trade.

The volunteers are a lot of Native American supporting actors and a pair of blatantly non-red teen idols (Wirth, Dillon) who try to stare stoically through their warpaint and Cher-wig headgear in an attempt to suggest an ethnic identity. Naturally, the local bigots relish the chance to whack some red ass, and one sideburned psychopath plugs a Blackfoot, leading to some serious blood­shed and a presumed drop in the burger and postcard sales in the area.

In typical Indictment-Of-American-Injustice fashion, our heroes have to escape on horseback, and are pursued by a scalp-hungry lynch mob, a posse of modern-day bounty hunters, the United States army, a sensation-seeking TV presenter and sundry other hangers-on.

Addressing the great cultural issues affecting the modern-day Indian, but in the end, thanks to a liberal application of splattery gore effects and the walking bare-chested pin-up status of the heroes, this is nothing more than adequate video action fodder, treading in the tracks of First Blood or Thunder.

The most interesting performances come from reliable baddie M. Emmett Walsh as the bounty hunter and Rodney Grant (of Dances With Wolves) as his demented Crow sidekick, but these characters are shuffled in and off too late in the film to make any real impact. Franc Roddam, he direct with forked megaphone.

War Party would obviously dearly love to be a serious film.