Sneak Peek: The Duel
From Lionsgate Premiere: THE DUEL stars Liam Hemsworth as a Texas Ranger who investigates a series of murders in a small town led by a charismatic preacher played by Woody Harrelson. However, the routine undercover investigation soon turns personal for the ranger who must solve the case before he loses everything to the mysterious town. The thrilling western THE DUEL will be released by Lionsgate Premiere in theaters and On Demand June 24, 2016. (Rated R)
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Alice Braga, Emory Cohen
Directed by: Kieran Darcy-Smith
Runtime: 110 Minutes
This transcript has been lightly edited:
The Referee: Well, listeners, we have a treat, indeed.
The Critic: A treat? (laughter)
Ref: A trick or treat. (laughter)
Critic: Uh-oh. Oh, the gauntlet is being thrown down, already. (laughter)
Ref: No, no, no. The Critic and I were able to see a Sneak Peek of the new movie, “The Duel,” which is coming out this Friday. Ooh, hoo, hoo, hah, hah! (Critic echoes.) And, it’s a western.
Ref: I like westerns, actually.
Critic: I do, too.
Ref: It’s a western that was written by Matt Cook. Yes, you heard me right — Matt Cook. [It’s] directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith, an Aussie, and [it stars] some people that you know: well-known people like Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson — they’re back together. You know, they did the whole “Hunger Games” thing. Alice Braga: She is definitely no newcomer — a veteran coming out with a show …
Critic: “Queen of the South.”
Ref: “Queen of the South,” that’s supposed to be really good … and Emory Cohen, who you can see as the love interest in the movie “Brooklyn,” critically acclaimed, co-starring Saoirse Ronan. Now, you hear already that this is a star-studded movie, yeah?
Critic: Yeah. Mm-hm. And, what happens is: We have Liam Hemsworth, right? He’s a Texas Ranger.
Ref: Uh-oh. This is back in the day.
Critic: This is back in the day. That’s right. And, they give you, at the beginning of the movie, a brief text on that so you understand what the situation is. And, we see him as a little boy, a littlun. OK? And, there’s a duel, everybody, at the beginning, between his father and one, we know who … Woody Harrelson.
Ref: Woody Harrelson. Of course.
Critic: Now, the outcome of that affects his [Liam Hemsworth’s] life.
Ref: And, this is the (laughing) “Natural Born Killer” Woody Harrelson.
Critic: (laughing) That’s right; he sure is — in the mud and the rain. So, then, we skip 20 years into the future, and he’s [Liam Hemsworth’s] a Texas Ranger. And, yes, he’s out to investigate Woody Harrelson, who is this preacher who seems to have some sort of mystical powers — I don’t know. But, people are dying.
Ref: They’re dying and getting healed. It’s strange. (laughter)
Critic: That’s right. And, you know, if you are brown- or black-skinned or whatever you are, watch out, you might be in trouble.
Ref: Yeah. This all takes place, for the most part — there were some border issues going on between Mexico and the United States, and things weren’t really drawn heavily [along the border]. But, there is a river. (laughter)
Critic: Yeah, and this is the late 19th century.
Ref: Yes. There’s a river that, sort of, separates things. And, when you cast something in the river, it’ll make its way to Mexico. Put it that way. And, the things that were being cast in the river …
Ref: … were Hispanic people.
Critic: That’s right. So, you know, these aren’t friendly people. Let’s say that. Now, Liam Hemsworth brings his wife with him, played by Alice Braga. So, she is Hispanic. Uh-oh.
Critic: She’s a Latina, and there’s a whole thing; we’re not even going to go into it. So, just know that you know where it ends: Look at the title. OK? (laughter) We know who’s involved in that title. And you’ll maybe have to find out, by watching, (laughter) who lasts [and] who doesn’t. Now, let me just say that there’s a part in that ending, Ref, in that duel that, you know, I don’t know — please make sure that you didn’t just eat lunch or dinner. (laughter)
Ref: Yeah. … Well, OK, let’s back up, just for a second.
Ref: The thing is: You’ve got two huge stars going head-to-head. One’s a good guy; one’s a bad guy — all the ingredients of a western …
Ref: You’ve got the, sort of, sketchy, weird town and the townspeople …
Ref: … the small community where word travels fast. You’ve got Liam Hemsworth’s character: He’s investigating Woody Harrelson. He’s gonna get to the bottom of that, but he hasn’t revealed his identity.
Critic: That’s right.
Ref: So, all the mystery is there and the ingredients of a good western. But …
Critic: But …
Ref: … like we said, this may be a trick rather than a treat.
Ref: I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
Critic: Look, we at Why Watch That really pride ourselves on the title: We want to give you the reason why. It’s hard for us to come up with this, unfortunately, for this film. You know, Woody Harrelson is one of my faves. I do enjoy watching him. But, for me, it was the script mainly, Ref, that — there just wasn’t much to do, for them, and it didn’t make a lot of sense. I would say: If you are someone who is a completist, you want to see every western that’s ever been made, maybe you should check this out …
Ref: … at your own risk.
Critic: Yeah. You know, if you sit around Sunday after church in your Barca lounger, watching the old westerns, (laughter) maybe this is for you. Or, if you want to see Liam Hemsworth try to assert himself as a different actor post-“Hunger Games,” OK. But, we would have to, again, caution you. You know, it’s not going to be their best effort.
Ref: Yeah, I’m going to have to echo that, listeners. I will say this; this is my caveat: I liked Liam Hemsworth’s attempt to do something different.
Ref: It’s a great setup for him. We all know Woody Harrelson can do many, many things: He can be in a western; he can be in contemporary; he can be in the future.
Ref: But, for Liam Hemsworth to take on this — he had a lot of camera time; a lot of on-hands violence, gun-slinging; all kinds of, you know, solving mysteries. I buy him as a potential western [star]. He could be in a franchise. He could be in a western … or in that genre. I think it’s a great thought (laughter) for him to — no, I mean it. It was a great thought for him to accept that role. And, obviously, the director’s an Aussie. And, you know, they share some of those same things. I want to see more of Liam Hemsworth in the dust. (laughter)
Critic: Oh, OK. Well, you heard it from the Ref, everybody. It’s on Video On Demand, as well. So, just keep that in mind.