The Kid Review
A young boy, Rio (played by Jake Schur) and his sister Leila George) are forced to go on the run from their villainous crazed Uncle (Chris Pratt). Along the way the two encounter infamous outlaw Billy the Kid (Dane DeHaan) who is on the run from Sheriff Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke). Ultimately, Rio is forced to decide what type of man he wants to be, the outlaw or the man of honour, in order to save his family.
In 2019’s western The Kid we see another take on Billy the Kid, this time by director and actor Vincent D'Onofrio, who has used his not insignificant clout to pull together quite the cast.
1973's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and 1988's Young Guns still stand as two of the most influential retellings of the Billy the Kid story and this is something, whether it likes it or not, that The Kid has to try and live up to. The Kid is diverting enough, with some game performances, and beautiful cinematography by Matthew J Lloyd - who is known for his Netflix Marvel output such as 'The Defenders' and 'Daredevil' - and some rousing music from Shelby and Latham Gaines, but ultimately The Kid was a bit of a slog to get through. It was a shame as the film doesn't really know whether to stick with Rio as the focal point, or move to one of the more established players, like Garrett or Billy the Kid, and this unfortunately makes the whole film a bit of a shrug.
Which is a shame, as D'Onofrio manages to get some fine performances out of Ethan Hawke and Dane Dehaan. Dehaan, who seems to have lost his way in many recent performances, was able to show some of his acting chops and reminded me a bit of a young Leonardo DiCaprio. Pratt has fun playing against type as a scenery chewing big bearded villain, but at times it felt like he had wandered in from a completely different film. The script by Andrew Lanham doesn't really push the boundaries of the Western too much, so we are left with a film that could have really had fun with all the characters to push them into territory we haven't seen them in before. Instead, we are looking at good actors doing fine, but unremarkable work, in a pretty unremarkable but fine western.
Director Vincent D’Onofrio’s The Kid does what it does - placing a coming-of-age story about a brother and sister in the middle of a yarn about Billy The Kid and Pat Garrett. You've seen much of it before, in far more engaging westerns, but its fine for what it is, a tale about family, about finding yourself and about the consequences of your actions.
The Kid is diverting enough, just don't expect a miracle of filmmaking. Come for the performances and the cinematography.
Run Time: 100 mins approx.
Special Features: ‘The Making of The Kid’ Featurette
The Kid is on Digital Download, Blu-ray & DVD from 3 June from Lionsgate UK.