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‘Apache Junction’ review: Fine addition to modern Westerns

Little new, but still enjoyable.

Apache Junction seems to want to double down on the idea that today’s Westerns just need to cater to fans of the genre. The titular outpost is a place where thieves and killers walk the streets with soldiers. Annabelle Angel (Scout Taylor-Compton)is a reporter from a San Francisco newspaper covering the town. When she is saved by Jericho Ford (Stuart Townsend), a chain of events is set into motion that can only end one way.

The plot does not go out of its way to try anything different. Apache Junction is filled with familiar moments and characters. This is seen most in Captain Hensley. While Trace Adkins does a fine job, he is also a complete caricature. Apache Junction is at its best when it tries to tackle deeper issues. When Annabelle first comes to the outlaw town, everyone stares at her. She is a woman with autonomy in a area where women are used and abused. This dynamic has a long history in Westerns, but it is a nice addition in a modern movie from the genre. There is the potential to make a grander statement.

Unfortunately, little is done with this thread. It is the catalyst to get the plot of Apache Junction going, but means little in the bigger picture. Almost ironically, Annabelle’s story takes a backseat to the issue between the men. The more action oriented portions of Apache Junction are unique. The final showdown does not play out as expected and there are some really clever takes on genre tropes.

In the end, fans of Westerns will end up enjoying the film. The characters and situations are well tread and comforting while the script never reliance on old tricks is never unbearable. There are some definite missed opportunities, but there is also lots of fun to be had.

Apache Junction comes to theaters, on demand, and digital September 24

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