Writer/Director Thomas Bidegain’s Les Cowboys is a contemporary thriller that pays homage to American Cowboy films like John Ford’s classic The Searchers in which John Wayne is going after Apaches, who kidnapped his sister.
Here, the cowboys are from a French working-class family and the Indians are Islamic extremists from Pakistan.
Though Bidegain is a good director and his Cinematographer Arnaud Potier captures the action, vividy, the problem is with the script that was co-written with Noé Debré from an idea by Laurent Abitbol.
The main character is the obsessive father played by François Damiens, who can’t let go of the fact his daughter Kelly (IIiana Zabeth) has run off with a Pakistani neighbor’s (Djemel Barek) son. The film is about his inability to come to terms with her decision and, when he dies in his frantic search, that story is over.
But, the film isn’t over.
Now, the young son (Finnegan Oldfield) of the dead father grows up and follows the trail of his sister and we’re in what seems like an entirely new film. And, it’s not that either of these stories is badly done, it’s just that we’re watching what seems like Parts 1 & 2 of the original story….which normally would have been a year apart for other film franchises.
I give Les Cowboys a 3.8 out of 5 for its…in my opinion…weird, but not entirely successful effort to be innovative.