By Liz Lopez
Director Brett Haley co- wrote the screenplay for “The Hero” with Marc Basch, starring Sam Elliott who has had fans as far back as 1969 with “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” several roles as a cowboy on television and most recently to the 2015 feature film, “I’ll See You in My Dreams” with a screenplay by this same writing duo. No matter that he will be 73 years old in less than two months; this actor has always had a distinctive appeal, no matter the character he plays. In “The Hero”, Elliot does not disappoint, as he is in the lead and able to show us his full and considerable talent that he may not have had the opportunity to display before. He is excellent as he demonstrates a wide range of emotions the character, Lee Hayden, is going through at this stage of his life as an actor who is facing real life issues. I loved his performance from two years ago starring with Blythe Danner, but Elliott’s impressive work is such that it makes it all worth the price of admission at the theater.
Lee Hayden has had Hollywood success for his iconic Western role in a film quite a while back and now without enough acting jobs, he does commercial voiceover work. He has too much leisure time and spends time with one male friend who is actually a drug dealer, Jeremy (Nick Offerman). The scenes with Elliott and Offerman’s characters are often very humorous as they try to come to terms with the reality of Hayden’s situation at hand. Hayden avoids doing some required things, and while at Jeremy’s; he meets a younger woman Charlotte (Laura Prepon) finding himself in an unexpected situation at this point in his life. For those viewers who may recognize her at first, she starred as Donna in “That 70s Show” TV series. She is an excellent choice for the role of a feisty, yet caring gal pal when she attends an event as his guest and they create some memorable scenes there, thanks to today’s Internet world where things can go viral at a moment’s notice. Krysten Ritter (“Big Eyes”, “Veronica Mars”) is the estranged-daughter in the film, and she is good in the role, although it is quite brief for this story.
Rob Givens, director of photography, provides the viewer with some good camerawork, from the close up shots of Elliott, to the expansive oceanfront views.
The film is rated R and is 93 minutes long. The film opens at Regal Arbor 8 on June 23rd.
Source: The Orchard