Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 3 out of 5
Blueberry (2004)
15Contains moderate nudity and drug-induced hallucinations

The western meets William S Burroughs in Blueberry, an hallucinogenic experience starring Vincent Cassel as world-weary Marshall Blueberry in the 1870s. Raised by injuns as a teenager, Blueberry's upbringing comes in handy when a group of greedy adventurers cross into Indian territory in search of buried treasure. Caught between his lawman's duty and loyalty to his adopted people, the Marshall finds himself embarking on a drug-fuelled trip into the heart of his own darkness. Looks like the West just swapped wild for weird.

"TWO PARTS BONKERS TO ONE PART BORING"

Sounds pretty cracked, doesn't it? Well that's only the start of this peyote chain-smoking effort that's two parts bonkers to one part boring. "Loosely adapted" from a series of popular French graphic novels, Blueberry combines some action-packed western sequences with lots of druggy references as the Marshall follows his Indian brother Runi (Temuera Morrison) into the depths of his own unconscious while battling a hardened killer (Michael Madsen) and trying to woo love interest Juliette Lewis.

Forget The Missing, this is The Totally Lost. As Cassel learns the ways of the spirits, eagles soar, peyote triggers demented visions, and wise old injuns mutter metaphysical nonsense like "If one day you decide to know yourself, you'll have to choose the warrior's path".

Director Jan Kounen (responsible for the equally offbeat splatter movie heist flick Dobermann) is definitely going out on a limb here, but he manages to keep things lively with some cult casting - including Ernest Borgnine as a wheelchair-bound sheriff whose rig is packed full of sawn-off shotguns.

The finale owes more to Tron or The Lawnmower Man than any western John Ford would recognise, with Blueberry sucking down some hardcore hallucinogens to battle his nemesis in the dream world. As centipedes, insect larvae, beetles, snakes, and scorpions morph into a psychedelic head-trip of CGI graphics, this is one movie that should definitely not be ingested without medical supervision.

End Credits

Director: Jan Kounen

Writer: Jan Kounen, Matt Alexander, Gérard Brach

Stars: Vincent Cassel, Juliette Lewis, Michael Madsen, Eddie Izzard, Temuera Morrison

Genre: Western

Length: 124 minutes

Cinema: 23 July 2004

Country: France/Mexico/UK

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