Cert 15 133mins Stars 3

Ride the wild frontier with Christian Bale as he stars in this solidly handsome yet creaking western.

The Welshman stars as Blocker, an exhausted shell of a cavalryman ordered to escort a Native American chief and his family from New Mexico to Montana. They are long time foes with unresolved grievances.

Along with him is Rosamund Pike’s grief stricken frontierswoman. Despite her demented dirt-scratching performance, her flawless complexion and perfect teeth are in distracting contrast to the admirably authentic production design.

Plus the casting of Brits is at odds with the insular nature of the film. For all it’s well staged gunfights in the epic landscape, the script speaks inwardly to the US about its violent history.

Writer, director and producer Scott Cooper’s previous films such as Black Mass and Out of the Furnace have similarly explored US economic and social division.

And the lack of humour and ponderous pace make this grand journey a belligerent experience for outsiders.

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