ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Outlaw Posse’ goes off the rails, loses storyline

Mar 2, 2024, 8:00 AM | Updated: 11:54 am

ksl movie show review host steve salles next to outlaw posse poster...

"Outlaw Posse" has a notable cast but a questionable storyline.

SALT LAKE CITY — Mario Van Peebles either has a whole lot of friends or a bunch of people owe him money, because the cast for this film is pretty extensive.

Check out some of the notables: Whoopi Goldberg, Neal McDonough, Cam Gigandet, Edward James Olmos, John Carroll Lynch, M. Emmet Walsh and Cedric the Entertainer just to name a few. 

Some of these bigger names don’t have a ton of screen time. Still, they showed up and played shoot ‘em up with Mario.

The year is 1908.

Chief, as they call him (Mario Van Peebles), is an outlaw who has been hiding out in Mexico for many years waiting for a chance to retrieve a cache of gold left by Civil War veterans in the hills of Montana. 

Unfortunately, he’s not the only one. A former associate, a guy they call Angel (William Mapother), also has his eye on the prize and will do anything to find it.

So Angel does the next best thing and kidnaps Chief’s daughter-in-law, who oddly is proficient at both the violin and the harp, to force Chief’s son to track down his estranged father and find out where the gold is hidden.  He’s given one week to get this done.

Now you gotta love and hate ol’ Angel, as Chief is responsible for removing Angel’s hand, leaving him with a silly, undersized brass one. Angel also loves classical music, as he forces the daughter-in-law to bring her violin so he can be serenaded. Pretty weird dude and mean as a snake.

As Chief starts to gather his crew together, he has a run-in with three prominent guys on our earlier list in a bar. It’s a funny scene, but you can say adios to them and the film isn’t even ten minutes long yet.  

Chief catches the next ride out of town and it just happens to be as a passenger of Stagecoach Mary’s stagecoach (Whoopi Goldberg). Who knew she could drive a stagecoach?  Who knew she wanted to?

Other notables will pop up just as willy-nilly, which keeps things lively. I guess.

‘Outlaw Posse’ goes off the rails

At one point, the Chief’s crew robs a bank, pretending to be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’s Hole in the Wall gang. No rhyme or reason, I guess they just thought it would be fun. 

Yet, in the next scene, as the sheriff brags about how he went toe-to-toe with Butch and Sundance, some guy out of the blue says, it couldn’t have been them as federales just gunned them down in Bolivia.  Dude! What the H! Now I get the 1908 reference. But still. Boooooo.

And the famous name-dropping didn’t end there. Again out of the blue, in a raucous saloon scene, the movie introduces the crowd to Jack Johnson, the first black world heavyweight champion, for absolutely no reason at all. 

Back to the storyline (such as it is). Do they ever find the gold in those Montana hills? Did the violin player ever get reconnected with her husband? Do we ever find out how Cedric the Entertainer ended up in this movie?

Who cares!

This wacky little western has gone so far off the rails that none of it matters. I hope these nice people had a great time making this movie because I surely didn’t have one watching it.

OUTLAW POSSE (C) Rated R for violent content, language and brief partial nudity. Starring Mario Van Peebles, William Mapother, John Carroll Lynch, Jack Manley and Mandela Van Peebles. Written and directed by Mario Van Peebles (“Redemption Road” “New Jack City”) – filmed in Paradise Valley, Montana. Running time: 108 minutes. 

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘Outlaw Posse’ goes off the rails, loses storyline