The Old Way

January 6, 202360/1005 min
Nicolas Cage, Clint Howard, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Noah Le Gros
Written by
Carl W. Lucas
Directed by
Brett Donowho
Run Time
1h 35min
Release Date
January 6th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

           I have always had a soft spot for a good Western and when I heard that Nicolas Cage was going to be in one, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. I mean at this point, you could put Cage in any movie setting and it is going to raise my level of interest naturally. So with this marriage of two things I enjoy, I poured me a glass of whiskey and sat down to once again visit the wild west, Cage-style.

             Colton Briggs (Nicolas Cage) seems like a man you don’t really want to mess with. In some town where there’s more dirt than town, a group of people gather as a man is about to be hung. As a man is reading the reasons why, a boy of about 12 is begging to not kill his father, a couple try and set him free, needless to say things don’t go well. A shootout breaks out and when the gun smoke clears it is Colton Briggs left standing. The man who was to be hung starts to grab a gun and in front of his son, Colton kills him. Twenty years later Colton is a respectful family man, with a wife and a daughter named Brooke (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), as he has put down his guns and now owns a store in town. That is going to all change when a man names James McCallister (Noah Le Gros) and three other men, pay a visit to Colton’s homestead, and not finding him kills his wife. By the time Colton returns home he finds a Marshall and his posse waiting, in which the news is delivered and a message is discovered left for Briggs. After some questions, Colton buries his wife and after retrieving his guns, he and his daughter seek out to find the men who did this.

Written by Carl W. Lucas, The Old Way is a pretty typical western through and through and includes all the usuals. Those of course include action-packed shootouts, some great fireside chats, treasure, and a good ‘ol fashioned steaming plate of revenge. Lucas though does delivers some good commentary on the wake the dead leave behind and a view on one’s legacy. It also comes with the standard beautiful locations that have to be trekked by horseback, which looks fantastic thanks to director Brett Donowho and cinematographer Sion Michel.

                  Great fireside chats and beautiful locations aside, you come here to see Cage go to work, and he, Armstrong, an Le Gros do not disappoint. Cage brings out calmer Cage, which is to say he doesn’t go over the top, instead showing why he is one of the best actors working. Once you get past the main three characters, the rest of the cast is just fodder, that just takes screen time you would rather be seeing Cage in. I wouldn’t call The Old Way an ace in the hole, but what you get is a more than a severable western, that is simple and never tries to be more than it is, and that is good enough in its own way.

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