Neal McDonough was almost cast out of type in this film; having associated his previous work with gloriously played bad guys, most notably Robert Quarles in Justified and later Malcolm Beck in Yellowstone, I had to keep reminding myself that he was a good guy here. He pulls it out with a stoicism that I often associate with screen renditions of Wyatt Earp, though his character is his own.
In some ways, this is an “anti-buddy” movie – its overarching theme is one of brother against brother, fitting in a movie set immediately post-Civil War. But it’s also a movie about forgiveness, second chances, and the high costs of mercy, duty, and service.
It is a streamlined plot insofar as there are few subplots to consume screen time and create additional action. I was surprised to note that it is a full two hour (or so) long movie because it seemed much shorter. At its end the thought struck me that it felt more like a one hour series episode than a full movie, which prompted my ruminations about plot structure. The richness that is normally supplied by subplots (or “sidequests” as my gamers would say) is replaced by frequent flashbacks that provide backstory for the characters.
This has been out a few months now, but is well worth looking up. Look for it on Amazon Prime!