This story of two ex-cons who join Texas's struggle for independence from Mexico is strong on historical detail but weak in dramatic development. The 1997 made-for cable feature was released on home video in 1998.
Hugh Allison (Kris Kristofferson) and Son Holland (Scott Barstow) escape from a brutal Louisiana prison and head into the Mexican territory of Texas. They plan to join the rebel army of Sam Houston, as much for protective covering as for the land and cash he has promised to every man who helps him
fight the Mexican government. They trade some stolen Army horses to a Choctaw tribe in exchange for food and shelter. The Choctaws also throw in Sana (Irene Bedard), a slave woman from another tribe.
The Indians trade stolen horses to Mexican soldiers; when the Mexicans cheat them, the tribe gives Hugh and Son six horses in exchange for their help in getting revenge.
Although Tennessean Holland hates Indians (his parents were murdered by drunken Shawnee), his consciousness is raised by Sana, who tells him how she was captured and raped by Americans, her initial captors. The two make love, but Hugh insists that she join a nearby friendly tribe before he and Son
find the Army.
That happens quickly, as they rendezvous with Houston (Tom Skerritt); where Hugh is delighted to meet up with his old friend Jim Bowie (Peter Coyote) among Houston's troops. Inflamed by the cause, Bowie leaves to join the forces and the Alamo, where Santa Anna's troops slaughter every man. This
massacre causes many more Texans to join Houston's army, and Houston's newly-bolstered forces are able to surprise a Mexican force at San Jacinto. As ex-miner Hugh uses his knowledge of explosives to demolish the bridge that offers the only chance of escape, Houston's army overcomes the Mexicans
and captures Santa Anna. Son retrieves Sana to live with him on the land he is given for his service.
At the battle of San Jacinto, depicted in the climax of TWO FOR TEXAS, 630 Mexican solders were killed by Texans, who suffered only 9 casualties in a fight that lasted a mere 18 minutes. Yet what ought to have been a stirring climax to a slice of American history is reduced to a few minutes at the
end of a film that spends more time with the ho-hum exploits of a pair of blandly drawn adventurers. Presumably the novel by James Lee Burke on which this was based offered richer historical detail that couldn't be supplied on a cable-movie budget. But Hugh and Son's escapes from the prison master
who chases them until the end of the movie (when he is dispatched in surprisingly anticlimactic fashion), their stay with a Choctaw tribe, and Son's growing admiration for Sana do nothing but waste time prior to a historical recreation that is hardly worth the effort. (Graphic violence, sexualsituations, profanity.)
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