Friday, June 30, 2017

The Hero

The Hero is a fairly straightforward film about an aging actor coming to terms with his mortality after a troubling medical diagnosis forces him to reexamine his life. Western star Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) is known really for only one role over his long career (which now consists mostly of commercial voice-over work for barbecue sauce). Elliot is well-cast, and makes the most of the character as he tries to mend fences with his estranged daughter (Krysten Ritter) and try to understand his new relationship with a younger woman (Laura Prepon) who walks unexpectedly into his life.

While not as ambitious as I'd like, director and co-writer Brett Haley delivers just what you'd expect from a film with this premise, ultimately The Hero fails or succeeds on the performance of Elliot who shoulders most of the film's emotional weight. Thankfully he's up to the task. I was a bit unsure about Prepon and her character, but her influence does drive some of the film's best scenes which include Hayden's audition won when his drug-controlled behavior at an awards show goes viral over social media. The Hero is a solid film. It won't wow you, but like it's leading character, it's slow and steady. Sometimes that does win the race.

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