A pair of runaway siblings fleeing their psychotic uncle encounters
Sheriff Pat Garrett on the hunt for notorious outlaw Billy the Kid.
The Kid (2019)
Directed by Vincent D'Onofrio
Written by Andrew Lanham
Starring Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan, Chris Pratt, Jake Schur,
Leila George, Chad Dashnaw, Adam Baldwin, Joseph Santos
I enjoyed The Kid for the most part, but it has one glaring flaw that keeps it from being the western epic it could be. It feels like two really good movies sewn together Frankenstein-style. One movie is about a brother and sister being hunted by their psychotic uncle who wants revenge on them for killing his psychotic brother, their abusive father. The other movie is a biopic about the cat-and-mouse game between Sheriff Pat Garrett and outlaw Billy the Kid. For some reason, these two ideas were smashed together, and they don't mesh well at all. For instance, Billy the Kid is actually a very insignificant part of the movie, despite being the title character.
The performances are great, with Ethan Hawke and Dane DeHaan both knocking it out of the park as Garrett and Billy respectively. I was pleasantly surprised at Chris Pratt's villainous turn as Grant Cutler, the psychotic uncle. It was cool to see him out of his comfort zone. The two kids, Jake Schur and Leila George, did a great job as Rio and Sara Cutler, though their story was the less interesting of the two. But that's always going to be the case when the alternative is the story of one of the West's greatest outlaws. I simply wanted more of the history between Billy and Garrett, friends and soldiers turned mortal enemies on opposite sides of the law. That's a fascinating tale, and it's what the movie should've been about.
The Kid is a decent western that tells two half-stories instead of one complete one. Frankly, it gets annoying after a while, especially after the death of Billy the Kid, who had barely done anything up to that point anyway. There's something here, but it wasn't told very well. I do want to see what Vincent D'Onofrio does next as a director, though. He has a skilled eye.