The Mountie Wyeth Clarkson
Published Jun 30, 2011I suppose I was just being idealistic when I snickered derisively at the American "Western" mythology, which buys into antiquated, sexist male standards of supremacy and solipsism, as a lone "hero" defends a singular notion of righteousness against a frontier of rule breakers. I forgot that the days when the rest of us were persecuted and categorized into various modes of subjugation are still perceived as the "good old days" by those given implicit power by cultural bigotry.
And now, with The Mountie, even Canada has hopped on the male ego bandwagon, purporting the titular enforcer in red as an ersatz cowboy, literally detailing the generic Western format in the most rudimentary and embarrassing manner possible. Portraying said Mountie with a stilted, softcore porn sensibility is Andrew W. Walker, as Wade Grayling, a man who upholds Judeo-Christian morality wherever he goes, happening upon a small opium dealing village that he essentially holds captive while fighting drug traffickers sometime before the turn of the Century.
When not glowering self-righteously, our Northern hero battles these "Cossack" criminals and woos physically and emotionally scarred female perversion Amethyst (Jessica Paré), who damaged her face, and sexuality, after her baby was taken from her and thrown into the river (because if a woman fails as a mother then she certainly can't have any sexuality). We're treated to a gunslinger standoff, a hilariously executed back-story about dog fighting and a romantic interlude in front of the Northern Lights where the capable Paré tries desperately to deliver some of the worst, most sexist dialogue ever written in an over-the-top Russian accent.
With lethargic extras looking off-camera confusedly and repetitive, cheap old school television fades reminiscent of Heritage Canada commercials, Wyeth Clarkson's awkwardly simple attempt to create a Canadian mythology out of American ideology fails in almost every category, playing mostly as an unintentional comedy made in someone's backyard over a long weekend.
Perhaps it's cruel to dote on the sheer ineptitude of this production, from its borderline incoherent action sequences to the misguided cinematography and woefully integrated exposition, but it's truly impossible to imagine anyone taking this film seriously beyond mockery and sheer jaw-dropping amazement. (Travesty)