Blueberry

From The Spaghetti Western Database

Blueberry (France, Mexico, USA 2004 / Director: Jan Kounen)

  • Runtime: 124 min
  • Release Date: 11.2.2004

Also known as

Blueberry: L'expérience secrète (France) | Muraya: L'expérience secrète de Mike Blueberry (France) (working title) | Blueberry, the Secret Experiment | Renegade (U.S.A.) | The Adventures of Mike S Blueberry (France) (working title) | Blueberry und der Fluch des Damonen (Germany) | Blueberry, la experiencia secreta (Italy) | As aventuras de Blueberry (Portugal) | Blueberry, experencia secreta (Spain) | Mike Blueberry (Thailand)

Cast and crew

  • Cast: Vincent Cassel (Mike S. Blueberry), Juliette Lewis (Maria Sullivan), Michael Madsen (Wallace 'Wally' Sebastian Blount), Temuera Morrison (Runi), Ernest Borgnine (Sheriff Rolling Star), Djimon Hounsou (Woodhead), Hugh O'Conor (Young Mike Blueberry), Geoffrey Lewis (Sullivan), Nichole Hiltz (Lola), Kateri Walker (Clara Von Luckner), Vahina Giocante (Madeleine), Kestenbetsa (Kheetseen), Tchéky Karyo (Uncle), Eddie Izzard (Baron Werner Amadeus von Luckner/Prosit), Colm Meaney (Jimmu McLure), Dominique Bettenfeld, Antonio Monroy (Julio), William Lightning (Young Runi), Jan Kounen (town idiot), François Levantal (Pete), Joel Gonzales (Indian warrior), Panshin Biri (Elderly Indian woman), Juan Manuel Bernal (Jeremy), François Bercovici (desk clerk), Richard Jones (Escort), Val Avery (Judge), Pascal Demolon (dentist), Leticia Gutiérrez (Runi's Mum), Tetsuo Nagata, Cyril Dupuy (cymbal player), Paul Rodden (Irish singer), Javier Clave (ranch hand), José Gómez Parcero (ranch hand), Karl Braun (as Karl H. Braun) (posse member), Chattoune (leader of the Virtue League), Jean Giraud (uncredited)
  • Story: Jean-Michel Charlier, Jean Giraud (as Moebius)
  • Screenplay: Matthieu Le Navur & Alexander Coquelle (as Matt Alexander), Gerard Brach, Jan Kounen, Louis Mellis, David Scinto
  • Cinematography: Tetsuo Nagata [color, Panavision 2,35:1]
  • Music: Jean-Jacques Hertz, François Roy
  • Song: "Feel the Universe" sung by Schaye B
  • Song: "Welcome to Palomito (From Galway to Dublin)" sung by Paul Rodden
  • Song: "Pashan Biri Song" sung by Shaman Pashan Biri
  • Song: "Uni" sung by Altai Kanghai
  • Song: "Danny Boy Song" sung by Juliette Lewis
  • Song: "Aux Natchitoches" sung by Tcheky Karyo, Vincent Cassel
  • Songs: "Kestenbetsa Song", "Energia Shamanica" sung by Shaman Kestenbetsa
  • Producers: Thomas Langmann, Ariel Zeitoun

Filming locations

Synopsis

From Jan Kounen, the French director of the violent cult actioner Dobermann, comes this loose adaptation of Jean "Mobius" Giraud's comic series Blueberry. Vincent Cassel stars as Mike Blueberry, a lawman whose past comes back to haunt him when his town is invaded by the nefarious Blount (Michael Madsen), the man responsible for his first love's murder. Led by a German con man by the name of Prosit (an unrecognizable Eddie Izzard), Blount and his crew search for an ancient treasure buried deep within Indian tribal grounds, while Blueberry and his Indian friend Runi (Temuera Morrison) race to keep the land sacred and stop the thieves by any means possible. Featuring Juliette Lewis and her father, Geoffrey Lewis, in supporting roles, the film sports a solid American cast that boasts an additional performance by Colm Meaney and a rare appearance by none other than Ernest Borgnine.

Review

Jan Kounen's Blueberry is a gorgeously shot metaphysical mind trip that will undoubtedly lose those looking for a conventional Western, but will find a home with fans who find joy in confused flicks that delight in their whacked-out madness. It makes sense that the director changed the course of the film midway through production after diving headfirst into shamanism, since it's about halfway through where the flick takes a belly flop into a psychedelic drug fest filled with CGI insects and mystic mumbo-jumbo that puts Oliver Stone's The Doors to shame. That said, the flick is expertly filmed and done in such a cinematic way that it's hard to knock the entire package. The performances are exceptional as well, filled with familiar faces that lend the production immediate class and make for a casting agent's dream. It's too bad, then, that it all falls apart by the anti-climactic ending that delivers on a gonzo level but falls desperately short of the kind of satisfactory wrap-up that one would expect going into it. By the time Vincent Cassel and a very naked Juliette Lewis go for a sensationalistic swim at the end, you're left wondering just what the point was. Recommended for fans of wild peyote trips and avant-garde Westerns -- both of which are probably sadly lacking these days.

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