Forsaken is a prime example of great acting elevating subpar writing, though in this particular case, the acting is surely helped by circumstance. Donald and Kiefer Sutherland star as a father and son in Jon Cassar’s western, and while nothing should be taken away from their work here, it must be easier to fully inhabit roles that superficially mirror real ones. When footage of Kiefer drunkenly tackling that Christmas tree emerged, did he imagine Donald scolding him for his foolishness, not unlike what happens in Forsaken? If the familial relationship helps them in their performances, it also cannot help but impact the viewer, never forgetting that there is something real happening onscreen when they argue with each other over their life choices. Without that potent dynamic, Forsaken becomes a substandard frontier tale, complete with rapacious industrialists, cowed townsfolk, and a man with a bloody reputation trying and failing to put that life behind him.
Random projects from the MMC Universe.