Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quigley Down Under - Rewind Mini Review

Released 20 years ago today...

Original Release Date: October 19, 1990

Quigley proving his prowess with his custom made sniper rifle.
Poor Tom Selleck, he had a hell of a run on television during the 80's with Magnum P.I. but when he tried to transfer that stardom over to the big screen it just didn't happen. He had a whole string of flops that mostly weren't very good, however there was one bright spot in his filmography and that is Quigley Down Under. Now it most definitely bombed upon release just like all the others but it was more or less due to bad timing. Westerns weren't all that popular at the time and he still hadn't proved that he could anchor a feature length film yet. What a shame because this is the type of movie that usually gives a leading actor their big shot but it wasn't meant to be I suppose.

This is not your usual western movie either, it takes a lot of familiar cues from the genre but it doesn't really play out as your typical western does. Tom Selleck plays Matthew Quigley, a man that has traveled to that wonderful land down under known as Australia to work for local ranch tycoon Elliot Marston played by the always amazing Alan Rickman (who was coming off his recent success with Die Hard). We are told that Quigley has the reputation as one of the best marksman in the west which is put to the test immediately upon him reaching Marston's ranch deep in the outback. Well, things take a turn for the worse and Quigley ends up a fugitive on the run with a local crazy woman played by Laura San Giacomo.

I really like this movie, Tom Selleck proves the skeptics wrong by turning in a really charismatic performance and Alan Rickman, while being typecast here as the villain, proves that Die Hard was not a one time thing. And despite this being a western there is a lot of good action sequences to be found here, especially if you are into sharpshooting and sniper type battles. Quigley's experimental weapon and ammunition are the equivalent of Dirty Harry's 44 magnum, in other words when people get shot it messes them up. The combination of a good leading actor, a juicy villain, some really good shootouts, a rousing musical score and the beauty of the Australian Outback makes one helluva fine film.

Quigley Down Under

Trailer for Quigley Down Under:


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