There’s an old cowboy adage you’ve probably never heard of that says "Don't worry about bitin' off more'n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think." The Righteous and the Wicked is proof that this is not always the case. While we applaud the courage it must’ve taken to create a western with a shoestring budget, there are certain expectations that come with this long-standing genre. And this film fails on all accounts.
The film centres around Hoss Williams and his gang of bandits as they attempt to rob a local payroll centre. They pull it off, and then come to blows with one another over the cash. And there’s something about one of the gang members having a grudge against the other, but it doesn’t matter because you probably stopped caring after the first sentence. We know we did.
We just have one question for director Craig A. Butler: If you’re going to make a western, would putting just one actual gunfight in it kill you? Is that too much to ask? There are numerous instances where one would have been more than appropriate, but we’re left with people just getting executed. Where’s the tension in that, Craig? But that isn’t even the real issue here.
Like we mentioned before, there are decades of examples illustrating the do’s and don’ts of the western genre. For whatever reason, this film chooses to blissfully ignore this rich history, while simultaneously giving us nothing new or unique. The characters are flat, the plot is non-existent, and even the cinematography lacks the grittiness we’ve come to associate with westerns. We didn’t want to give this film the satisfaction of reviewing it, but we felt that you, dear reader, had to be warned.
The bottom line: Don’t. Just don’t.