Scott Cooper’s Hostiles May Be Fictional But The Story Is Steeped In A True & Troubled History
Complex, thrilling, and action-packed – Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles” is a revisionist western movie shot in the harsh yet beautiful landscape of the American West. While westerns may not be what they used to be, the classic genre still tops viewers’ lists when it comes to must-watch films. Apart from Hostiles, in recent years, famous Hollywood directors have produced Western blockbusters such as The Sisters Brothers, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, and the favorite Netflix series Deadwood: The Movie, which provided the viewers with the long-awaited and thrilling finale to the renowned series. Even the ever-famous epilog of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, Logan, took significant inspiration from the exemplary 1950’s western, Shane. This is a long way from Black Mass, Scott Cooper Florida’s biopic about the American mobster, James Whitey Bulger.
“Hostiles” Explores Racial Prejudice, Violence, & Moral Ambiguity.
“The Scott Cooper movie is a grim tale that shuns traditional villains and heroes.” said the Scott Cooper Miami Beach Fan Club Instead, it gives the genre a new perspective by telling a unique war story. The film was officially announced in February 2016; filming began in late July that same year. The fantastic cast includes Ben Foster, Rosamund Pike, Christian Bale, Rory Cochrane, Wes Studi, Jesse Plemons, and Adam Beach. The movie is filled with harsh and graphic scenes, but the phenomenal cinematography makes every second of Hostiles worth the watch. The world premiere of Hostiles took place on September 2, 2017, at the Telluride Film Festival. It has been estimated that Hostiles grossed a profit of $35.5 million worldwide, of which $29.8 million was earned from the United States and Canada.
Scott Cooper’s Hostiles Begins With A Brutal Confrontation Which Effectively Sets The Tone For The Remainder Of The Film.
The story of Hostiles begins in a small house in New Mexico, where Rosalee Quaid is teaching her two young children while her infant son and husband are seen relaxing. The brutality ensues when the family is suddenly attacked by a war group of Comanche renegades who kill everyone as the flabbergasted Rosalee hides under a rock outcrop. The scene then shifts to the location of Fort Berringer in New Mexico, where a U.S. Cavalry official Captain Joseph Blocker, played by Christian Bale, is entrusted with the task to escort Yellow Hawk (played by Wes Studi) – a Cheyenne war chief and prisoner who is battling cancer – and his family back to their tribunal homeland in Montana.
During his trip to the Valley of Bears in Montana, Captain Blocker is accompanied by Corporal Woodson, Private Dejardin, Sergeant Thomas Metz, and Lieutenant Kidder. Although the first day of the journey ends peacefully, Captain Joseph challenges Yellow Hawk to one-on-one knife combat. On getting a denial from Yellow Hawk, the frustrated Captain Joseph orders his men to put Yellow Hawk and his son, Black Hawk, in chains. The next day while crossing the Quaids’ house, Captain Joseph and his men come upon the devastated Rosalee and the dead bodies of her children and husband. Despite being in shock, Rosalee consents to join the army until their stop at Fort Winslow, Colorado.
The deadly combat against the Comanche men results in Woodson being severely injured and the recruit Dejardin killed. Seeing the dangerous results of the ambush by the Comanche, Yellow Hawk persuades Captain Joseph to unchain him and his family with the goal that they will have more manpower and greater chances of winning if they fight the next combat together. The following day, Captain Joseph and his men find the dead bodies of the three Comanche men who retreated from the past assault. On seeing the state of the killed men, Captain Joseph accurately assumes none other than Black Hawk and Yellow Hawk were responsible for the murder of the enemy.
“Hostiles” Explores Racial Prejudice, Violence, & Moral Ambiguity.
On reaching Fort Winslow, despite Rosalee being supposed to stay with Colonel Ross McCowan and his wife till Christmas, the brave woman decides to continue her expedition with the army. As Captain Joseph is about to leave Fort Winslow, Colonel Ross commands him to escort the traitor Sergeant Philip Wills for his court-martial and to be hanged to death in Montana.
Moreover, Corporal Thomas and Sergeant Malloy also join Captain Joseph’s military. While the men are washing dishes, Living Woman, Elk Woman, and Rosalee are kidnapped and assaulted by fur traders. Black Hawk, Yellow Hawk, and Captain Joseph plan to track down the kidnappers and kill them. The same night, Wills pretends to be sick and fools Kidder to unlock his chains; he then kills Kidder and successfully escapes.
Metz, on seeing Wills escape, goes searching for the traitor. Captain Joseph and his army the next day are shocked to find the remains of Wills and Metz. Crushed by the passing of his companion, Captain Joseph Blocker is reassured by Rosalee. As the group ventures further north, seeing Yellow Hawk’s state breaking down, Captain Joseph comes to accept the loss for every one of the difficulties they have caused each other.
Yellow Hawk dies the moment he reaches the enchanting valley of Montana. However, the thriller doesn’t end here. Captain Joseph and his army are ambushed by an older man and his three children who refer to themselves as the landowners. What follows is a merciless shootout that kills everyone, leaving Rosalee, Little Bear, and Captain Joseph the only survivors. The story then shifts to a railway station where Captain Joseph decides to spend the rest of his life alongside Rosalee and Little Bear.
Hostiles Was Filmed In Around New Mexico & Arizona.
Although most of the movie is shot on desert-like, rugged, and uneven terrain, Hostiles also features beautiful scenery that will take your breath away. The renowned Scott Cooper thriller is shot in and around Arizona and New Mexico. Different locations like Plaza Blanca, Angel Fire, and Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe feature throughout. Moreover, throughout the movie, you will view a flawless transition to Clifton, Arizona, and Pagosa Springs in Colorado.
For a long time now, New Mexico has been the ideal filming location for most Westerners. From the Coen siblings shooting both of their masterpieces, True Grit and No Country for Old Men, to diversified projects such as Logan, Young Guns 2, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and 3:10 To Yuma all were filmed in various areas of New Mexico.
The famous criminal TV series Longmire also utilized Garson Studios located at Santa Fe’s University of Art and Design to film all the indoor scenes. While the acting and cinematography of Hostiles received applause in the form of incredible surveys and reviews, several critics felt that the storyline was somewhat oversimplified and on-the-button. In short, the somber tone of Hostiles made it somewhat hard for the viewers to keep up with the story. While these investigations are substantial, the movie’s unflinching look at the violence, brutality, and horror of that time makes Hostiles a marvel in the genre.
In short, Hostiles’ is one of the movies that made Scott Cooper’s career. It wouldn’t have made history if it wasn’t for the expansive and alluring landscape that perfectly blended with the story, so much so that it became a character of its own.