As explained by many authors in this site, remakes are becoming far too common. In fact, they are so many of these that we aren’t sure of the source material. An obscure movie comes out and apparently in 1953, there was a similar movie made. This movie also probably made the equivalent of $100 American Dollars at the box office. Well, perhaps not that bad. I received one of these movies to review recently and it was titled Angel and the Badman. Let’s see how this one fares.
Quirt Evans (played by Lou Diamond Phillips) is riding along on his horse. He stops when he sees that there is a dead body near a secluded cabin. He inspects the body and all of the sudden three men appear out of the shadows. It’s a trap. Thanks to his quickdraw skills, Quirt is able to put down the three men. He is also able to put down the dead body in its rightful place as he was just acting to set up the ambush.
However in the gunfight, Quirt is very badly wounded. He rushes to a nearby town and particularly falls over in desperation. He is helped by a small family and tells them that he needs to get to a telegraph office. They take him there where he demands of the operator (played by Michael Teigen) to send a telegraph despite the fact that is now midnight. Quirt finishes the message and falls over unconscious.
The next time Quirt wakes up, he is in a bed. The family that he came upon has given him shelter while Doc Johnson (played by Don Thompson) has tended to his wound. The family is Quaker and creatures of non-violence and pledge to help any person in need. The daughter, Temperance (played by Deborah Kara Unger) has taken a strong liking to Quirt as he tries to collect his senses.
He is amazed at what he sees and can’t seem to make sense of the family and surroundings that are around him. The father, Thomas (played by Terrance Kelly) tells him that if he wants he can stick around and help out the family. Quirt agrees. However, walking through the town and helping the Quaker family isn’t as easy as it seems. Quirt is infamous in this town and the Quakers are shunned. However, with Quirt’s crafty ways he is able to help turn his and the family’s life around.
Things are looking up; Quirt and Temperance even seem to be developing a romance. However, life is not going to be so easy. Quirt Evans has a past, a very dangerous one. People are looking for him and won’t be very happy that he’s decided to take exile with a Quaker family. So what exactly happens when his worst enemy, Lardeo (played by Luke Perry) comes to town and the nearby marshal, Sam (played by Winston Rekert) is aware that both men have an unsavory past? Trouble, that’s for sure.
If you are a John Wayne fan and you are telling yourself that this sounds really familiar, you are quite right. John Wayne did a very similar picture way back in 1947 with the same name and it seems like it was ripe to do a remake of. Lou Diamond Phillips is playing the John Wayne role and oddly enough does a really good job. His emotions are genuine and as one of the hardest workers in Hollywood, he proves that his best roles might be those based in the Old West.
The rest of the actors are aptly suited for the task. Terence Kelly put in a superb job and Deborah Unger was believable as a Quaker daughter. The only guy I had real trouble with was Luke Perry. Luke basically put on an eye patch and went to work. He wasn’t scary, if anything he was downright laughable. His words were few and far between but they made him sound more scared of Quirt if anything.
The story was very wholesome and it was nice to see Quirt grow into a well respected member of society. The only outstanding issue in the story was a good back story. We get that Quirt was shot and that’s how he found the family in the first place. But we have to pick up pieces throughout the movie of Quirt’s legend. I feel like there is a prequel to this movie and I’m starting with a remake of the sequel. It can be very confusing.
Angel and the Badman is a good movie but only on the merits of a few actors in the film. People like Lou Diamond Phillips and Terrence Kelly have enough moxie to make the picture a quality production. However, with a few holes in the story and the lack of an interesting villain, there is not enough to call it great. It would have also helped if Lionsgate gave us more than a screener on a dvd-r to accurately judge the film. I recommend this as a rental or for those who have seen the original and wish to compare.