Movie Review: The Duel tries to enliven a B Western with mysticism (and Woody Harrelson)

Woody Harrelson must function like a battery for Liam Hemsworth. The live-wire American actor manages to bring his Aussie compatriot from the Hunger Games films briefly to life in The Duel, a hammy exploitation Western that shrouds its grungy intentions in arty window-dressing. The normally slumber-inducing and taciturn blankness of the younger Hemsworth brother gets put to good use under a bushy beard and minimal dialogue, and he rises (fitfully, it should be acknowledged) to the occasion when acting opposite Harrelson, who could likely make a kumquat seem an equal scene partner. Blessed with solid supporting character work and several scenes of genuine good fun, the movie manages to make its nearly two-hour run-time pass by easily enough, but not so much so that the seams on this patchwork quilt don’t still show.

Ironically, the lowbrow genre aspects of the picture are both the elements it tries to hide …

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