Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) ‘s career in “World News” (2020) is poetic. A veteran Confederate warrior, carrying newspapers and traveling across the southern states shortly after the end of the American Civil War, to read important or insignificant events from the hated Northeast. A cowboy, he not only wants to inform people of the news, but to give his fans in every town a little fun to distract them from the harsh life of the Wild West. He has no political agenda, and he seems to have no purpose in life. Of course, he’s not a bad person (Tom Hanks can’t be a villain!). When he finds the young white-blonde Johanna (Helana Zingel), the daughter of German immigrants, dressed in Aboriginal clothing who was raised by an indigenous tribe, he is asked to take her to her closest living relative. Reluctantly, he takes responsibility. This journey begins between the two, and soon turns into an epic full of mortal dangers. The captain and the girl save each other’s lives, over and over again, and learn a lot from each other.We know the formula “an old man and a little girl in the Wild West” in many films, and the film is actually full of traditionalism, it does not bring any positivity, prosaic, and predictable. The English director, Paul Greengrass, did not attempt to shed more light on the elements of the story, but rather presented a two-hour tape with familiar elements of the movie Western Road. It resulted in the story of a good man, a girl, a number of bad guys, and a lot of conversations always heard in most Western Hollywood films: “Settlers kill the natives for their lands, and the natives kill the settlers who took their lands from them.”
The main role fits into that of Tom Hanks, so much so that the film may be a parody of the actor’s film life. Tom Hanks meets the stereotype of the character, but not in “Western” (for the first time, Tom Hanks is represented in this genre). The character has so much nobility, humanity and limitless virtue that Hanks relies on as usual, with an extra dose of melancholy. It doesn’t happen in the movie more or less than any viewer can imagine based on the first five minutes, so it becomes difficult to emotionally engage in their journey.
It falls short of being in the ranks of the business we’re used to with Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and John Ford
The film exposes the director’s inexperience in this type of film, the one who famously made the “Agent Jason Bourne” series and other “action” films well known. The film conforms to the well-known style, it is Western again that only takes the perspective of a white man, and the only thing we learn about Aboriginal culture is also transmitted through a German girl who grew up by chance with the natives. “World News” is lost between the Western genre and drama, and does not rise to be the kind of Western movie that we are used to and which we love like the works of Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, John Ford, Sergio Leone and Sam Beckenpah.
* News of the World on Netflix
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