By Mark Olsen
Making a film that transports all the conceits that make a western a western -- concerns about loyalty and family, tradition and honor -- to a contemporary setting is mighty ambitious. Yet, with "Good Day for It," that's precisely the aim of director Nick Stagliano.
Working from a screenplay he co-wrote with James Canfield Wolf, Stagliano follows a mysterious drifter with a past (Robert Patrick) who returns to a small town to meet the long-lost daughter he has never known, only to be confronted by unsavory former associates (a gang that includes Robert Englund and Lance Henriksen).
Having two legends of dubious filmmaking such as Patrick and Henriksen is something of a blessing to Stagliano, but he doesn't quite wring the energy out of their combined presence as well as he might. If Stagliano and Wolf were stronger writers, a diner sit-down scene between the actors could potentially have felt like a B-movie iteration of Pacino and De Niro in "Heat," two icons of their genre brought together for something special.
As it is, the scene is just one of many that suffers from a slack tension. Not agile enough to make the idea of a contemporary small-town western really work, Stagliano instead simply cranks out a rather bland programmer doomed for the anonymity of a video store shelf or VOD queue.
"Good Day for It." MPAA rating: R for some violence. Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes. At the Downtown Independent, Los Angeles.
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