Rio Lobo

Howard Hawks's last feature, released in 1970. If it were better and more substantial, one might call it his King Lear—an expression of rage at the frustrations and humiliations of aging—rather than the lighthearted western it's supposed to be. But while no Hawks movie can be considered a total loss, this reductive replay of Rio Bravo and El Dorado is too peevish to qualify as tragic, and only occasionally funny; the fact that its best action sequence, the first, was directed by the second unit is emblematic of Hawks's relative lack of engagement with the material. The best thing about this effort is its likable cast, headed by John Wayne and including Jorge Rivero, Jennifer O'Neill, Jack Elam, and Chris Mitchum.

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