ALL HAT Directed by Leonard Farlinger. 91 minutes. Opens Friday (January 25). Rating: NN
A potentially entertaining cowboy caper movie bogs down under the weight of too much set-up, too much self-consciously pithy dialogue and a serious absence of tension, becoming a mere pleasant time-waster.
As Sonny, a rich horse breeder’s son who’s buying up all the farmland to build a suburb, Noam Jenkins has major mean-spirited resentment going on. Some of the other minor players are good, too, notably Rachael Leigh Cook as a raunchy jockey. But our heroes, Luke Kirby, a cowboy just out of jail who outwits the baddie, Lisa Ray, his love interest whose farm is threatened, and Keith Carradine, a wise old guy, are pure plastic, clean and bland enough for after-school TV.
With the exception of a couple of violent fights, director Leonard Farlinger maintains a soft, television look and pace. Even the climax, a horseracing scam to bilk the evil Sonny, fails to generate much tension and, squeezed as it is into the final 15 minutes, it’s too little, too late for any kind of satisfaction. Truly a case of all hat, no cattle.