Having heard good things about the recent version of True Grit I recently watched it, only to discover it was yet another Coen Brothers mess of pointless tripe. After The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men and Burn After Reading, I should have learned; evidently I have not.
It starts, like most of their films, interestingly enough, with fourteen year old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) coming to claim the body of her father who has been shot by one of his hired hands, and who has then ridden off. She shows off her resourceful character by negotiating a reasonable sum of money from a horse dealer, before going off to look for someone to track down the man who shot her father, and bring him to justice.
Sadly, although the set up is intriguing, the story is pulled off badly. The men are all hard and hard drinking, mumbling their lines to the extent that the dialogue is hard to follow; I imagine that this was meant to imbue ‘character’, but in the end becomes annoying. But it proves the fact that the characters are all very one dimensional, including Mattie who turns up with pluck but with no back story to confirm why.
As the film progresses it turns more and more into a generic western, with men showing overblown heroics, who earlier in the film were getting drunk and arguing like old ladies. And when the ending finally comes you are left with a feeling of being robbed of two hours of your life.
The book itself may be as pointless as the film, I don’t know since I haven’t read it, but if it is then you wonder why it has been made into a film. If not, then this would have to be described as a poor rendition. I give it four out of ten, even taking into account the good performance from Steinfeld.