Badland — 2.5 Gavels 43% Rotten Tomatoes

In Badland, Kevin Makely is a wannabe Clint Eastwood. Who is Kevin Makely, you might ask? Let’s just say that Badland is not going to put him on the A-list of American actors. The movie did cause me to ponder whether war criminal trials occurred after the Civil War. According to The National Park Service, over 1,000 military tribunals charged Confederates with war crimes. Of course, that is completely different from convicting someone in absentia and ordering immediate death by hanging as presented in this yarn. Apparently, the Pinkerton Detective Agency did track down outlaws in the Wild West, but not war criminals. Beyond the fistfights and the gunfights, Badland has little to offer. I give the film 2.5 Gavels and it has a 43% Rotten Tomato rating (only seven reviews) with an 81% Audience score (only 21 users).


The Federal government wants General Corbin Dandridge, Reginald Cooke, and Huxley Wainwright for war crimes. Those three escaped the long arm of the law for years. Mathias Breecher, a Pinkerton detective, is sent to deliver justice. Cooke’s daughter, Sarah, causes quick-on-the-draw Breecher to re-think his mission. Ultimately, ladyfolk must be rescued, and outlaws must be punished. But, at what cost?

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With every cigar-chewing, steely glance of silent, soft-spoken Mathias Breecher, Kevin Makely imitates Eastwood. I am certain that he studied the old Spaghetti Westerns. Get your own character, and leave classic Clint for the ages! Mira Sorvino (Stuber) possesses an Oscar, although her stilted, clipped speech as Sarah Cooke in Badlands seems a stretch. Granted, in her circumstances, Sarah needs a gunslinger, but love at first sight seems a bit much. Bruce Dern (Reginald Cooke) portrays a changed man, haunted by the past, and the thought that he will soon no longer be able to protect his daughter.

Actor Kevin Makely recalls Poughkeepsie roots enroute to Hollywood

Final Thoughts

Weekly, Netflix rolls out “new” movies and TV shows. This week we get movies like Badland and others starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson. These can’t be cheap to produce with no box office to offset the cost. If eyes equal money, we shut-ins should make Netflix a fortune. Still, please, please don’t make a Badland sequel. Movie Nation refers to Makely as a “competent but colorless actor.” The flick just has the feel that it was made in the 1950’s. Divided into four parts, I give credit to the writers for the name of the Part Three town, Knife’s Edge, a foreboding place if there ever was one. At its conclusion, our hero is told “you’re home.” Yes, we are all home stuck watching filler like Badlands. You can do better than this, Netflix.

Badland - Catalina Film Institute and Festival

Schedule of Upcoming Reviews:

Friday April 3 — Blood Father

Saturday April 4 — The Boys

Sunday April 5 — Aftermath

Monday April 6 — Uncorked

Tuesday April 7 — The Saint

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