Those who didn't ride the lonesome trail with the first LONE JUSTICE will be in a favored position to judge this sagebrush saga strictly on its own demerits--anemic acting, a tainted plot-transfusion from HIGH NOON, and clotted direction. These qualities make this journey to a semi-mythic
figure's past a defensible trip only for western groupies of the sort who own dog-eared volumes of Time-Life's series on "Outlaws of the Old West."
Flashing backward in time from his jail cell, Ned Blessing (Brad Johnson) reminisces about skirmishes with a cut-throat bandito and about the desolate frontier town he once called home. Once out of jail, and accompanied by his Jiminy Cricket pal Crecencio (Luis Avalos), Ned barely recognizes the
fear-ridden settlement he encounters while searching for his pappy. Instead of a hometown welcoming committee, Ned tangles with Verlon Borges (Bill McKinney) who rides roughshod over the townsfolk with his three sons, Leolo, Hubbell, and Robie. Among Verlon's pastimes following the lethal removal
of the sheriff from office is a terror campaign aimed at driving out black settlers Sealy (Julius Tennon) and Effie Petit (Donzaleigh Abernathy).
Gaining Borges undying enmity by forcing his family to plow the homesteaders' field after Verlon shoots Petit's mule, courageous Ned earns the respect of caring whore Wren (Brenda Bakke) whom the Borges kidnap in order to catch Ned by surprise and finish him off with a rattlesnake.
When his sons grow increasingly resentful--Leolo suspects that Verlon killed their mother--Verlon dupes them into believing he'll go easy on the settlers. Before Ned can escape the Borges trap and ride to the rescue with the unexpected aid of Wren, Verlon not only shoots Leolo, but forces his
children and the Petits into a barn which he sets ablaze. After Wren is shot, the town coward "Sticks" (Tom Scott) wounds Verlon. Despite the intervention of loyal-to-Verlon madam Emma (Rusty Schwimmer), Ned manages to free all the trapped townspeople. When Robie orders Ned to hang Verlon, the
rascal commits suicide by running into the flames of the barn; afterward, Ned accepts a post as town sheriff.
LONE JUSTICE is about as authentically wild and wooly as two city kids playing Jesse and Frank James with cap pistols. In sharp contrast to Eastwood's and Peckinpah's evaluations of brutal prairie life, LONE JUSTICE 2 seems like a cartoon of violence. Typical of the film's abiding lack of
conviction is the portrayal of Borges' sons as victims of poor upbringing rather than as apples that didn't fall too far from a poisoned tree. The only shocker the film persuasively delivers is the round-up of the local residents in that extra-hot barn. Attempting to barbecue his own
flesh-and-blood qualifies Verlon Borges as Father of the Year in Hell, and McKinney makes this despicable character a true grotesque. As for folk hero Ned Blessing, Greek God Johnson exudes so little cowpoke charisma he may as well be sliding off a mechanical bull at a trendy western bar.(Graphicviolence, adult situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1995
- Rating: NR
- Review: Those who didn't ride the lonesome trail with the first LONE JUSTICE will be in a favored position to judge this sagebrush saga strictly on its own demerits--anemic acting, a tainted plot-transfusion from HIGH NOON, and clotted direction. These qualities m… (more)