Rio Lobo: often referred to as the second remake Howard Hawks filmed of his own Rio Bravo (after El Dorado), this Western naturally suffers when seen at that light; those two are delightful, absolute classics, while this is just a serviceable (if entertaining) Western. The story is somewhat clunky, with this first third seemingly belonging to a different film then the remainder two-thirds; nevertheless, the film settles down reasonably well in a “fight against the powerful black-hat rancher” storyline. The female characters may not be wholly believable, but they are a welcome presence nevertheless. The cast is hit-and-miss; John Wayne is very dependable playing this kid of role, Jack Elam is clearly having a lot of fun as the batty old hand, and the actresses (Jennifer O’Neill, Susana Dosamantes and Sherry Lansing) all look good and sell their roles; at the other end of the spectrum, Jorge Rivero, however good he looks, is the definition of wooden. The film is well put-together, with the usual straight professionalism of Hawks; in spite of the story issues, editor John Woodcock keeps the film moving along.
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