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Joe Kidd: Next time I'll knock your damn head off.
1972's "Joe Kidd" reads like a dream come true for cineastes. It stars Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall, it's written by Elmore Leonard, and the director is John Sturges. Heck, if you're a Dick Van Patten fan, his brief supporting turn is merely icing on the cake. The feature boasts an impressive roster of credits, working within a proven genre that plays to everyone's strengths. However, the realization that "Joe Kidd" is a good picture and not a great one is a source of tremendous confusion, with all pistons firing on a project that really doesn't go anywhere in particular, with blurry characterization and the flaccid conclusion weakening a passable take on a manhunt adventure. While its lacks consistency and scope, "Joe Kidd" remains a superbly entertaining effort, offering the patient a few meaty showdowns and a cheeky lead performance from Eastwood, who delivers amusing work as the titular brute, carrying the movie with his proven western poise, while Sturges emphasizes naturalistic grandeur with magnificent Californian locations. Perhaps in filmographies shellacked with greatness, this simple tale remains forgettable, but for those who enjoy gunfights and acts of intimidation, the lean endeavor offers the goods with conviction.