Vincent D'Onofrio (director)
03 June 2019 (released)
01 June 2019
The idea in The Kid of taking the true story of Pat Garrett’s and William Bonney aka Billy the Kid’s confrontation and wrapping it up in a fictional story, is a good one and for a while it works well.
Escaping a violent situation and on the run from their uncle Grant (Chris Pratt), Rio (Jake Schur) and his sister Sara (Leila George) take refuge in a barn. It’s here they meet the legendary and notorious outlaw Billy the Kid (Dane DeHaan) and his gang also on the run but from also legendary sheriff Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke).
Tracked down and after a firefight Billy gives himself up for what he knows will inevitably lead to the noose. Desperate Rio and Sara make up a story and persuade a not totally convinced Garrett that he should take them along.
It’s on this journey and through the towns they pass that Billy’s ‘fame’ starts to fascinate Rio, to the extent that he does something pretty stupid – actually several stupid things. The Kid is both feted and feared almost in equal measure his reputation strung out across the country. For Garrett he has a job to do and it's a complication to deal with. For Rio it’s the fleeting false glamour of the outlaw measured against the dour sheriff though with each having blood on their hands the separation is wafer thin.
Uncle Grant catches up with the pair after they leave Garrett and taking Sara with him leaving Rio in the street, warned in no uncertain terms what will happen if he pursues. That is a no brainer and with Garett on board after having confessed his sin, they set out after Grant.
Acting honours can’t be shared as Hawke is on top form being both very shouty as vengeful townsfolk stake a claim for Bonney and introspective as he ponders what he does. Unfortunately DeHaan looks out of his depth and as if he’s going to start giggling at any minute. Schur is ok but the difficulty here is that writer Andrew Lanham doesn’t quite nail Rio’s fascination with Billy and to a lesser extent Garrett, so he at times looks a little overwhelmed.
It’s not clear if Vincent D’Onofrio is looking to do more than dabble in directing at the moment which is shame as The Kid shows he’s got a comfortable grip on things. It’s beautifully filmed with vibrant colours and landscapes but also handling the more intimate scenes letting the actors have their space. He’s no slouch on the action front either with blood and violence graphically rendered.
The Blu-Ray and DVD both have a making of featurette.