The Hero

A week and a half ago I went to see “The Hero”.

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Throughout the summer I had a mild interest in seeing movie. I knew that it was one of those movies where if I didn’t see it in the theater I would probably never see it. Since I had both the time and the money I went to a Thursday afternoon matinee.

The movie was good but not great. I like the basic story set up of the film. An aging actor named Lee (Sam Elliot) who is known for play a very certain type of role faces down his own mortality and the decisions he has made in his life. I think the film is really interesting because it is an excellent portrait of how actors can be typecast and never able to break out of the type of role that made them famous. Lee’s struggles with his career and where it is at is mirrored by his personal life. He is long divorced and estranged from his daughter (the always fantastic Krysten Ritter). A chance connection with a much younger woman (Laura Prepon) gives Lee a chance to possibly restart his career and his personal life at the same time.

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Much like the lead character the actor playing him has been typecast in his career. Yet, Sam Elliot is able to bring something different to this role. Yes, he’s playing somebody who has been stuck playing the cowboy his whole life but since he’s not actually playing a cowboy it is different and he gives an excellent performance. As mentioned before Krysten Ritter is wonderful as Lee’s estranged daughter.

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The ending between father and daughter is an open one. I think that how you interpret the ending depends on how you feel about happy endings when there has been a lifetime of hurt beforehand. Laura Prepon is good but I have to admit whatever she did to her face is distracting.

The movie has several dream type sequences that don’t really add anything to the overall narrative. I get what is trying to be accomplished with them but I don’t think they were necessary. “The Hero” is worth watching for Sam Elliot’s wonderful performance. I also recommend it for anybody who likes Krysten Ritter. However, if you aren’t a big fan of Elliot and/or Ritter it’s probably not worth your time.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

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