A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Effectively demonstrates how prejudice and misinformation are interlinked.
Positive Role Models
Movie paints its star-crossed lovers as the only inherently good characters in this world; they only want peace and to be left alone. It's hard to argue for anyone else as a role model. Willie Boy is troublesome; he's responsible for an accidental death and resorts to violence when cornered. He leaves the movie as a victim -- and a mystery for the history books to sort out.
Based on the oral history of the Chemehuevi tribe and provides equal weight to both White and Native American characters -- but you could argue that the White characters are more nuanced than the Native Americans. The White characters are also more evil, and the Native Americans are seen as superior and less prone to prejudice. Characters who already hate Native Americans are predisposed to believe that they're capable of bad things, even if those things aren't true. And the movie demonstrates that there are evil forces only too happy to exploit this for profit, including publishers of slanted, prejudiced news.
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Violence & Scariness
Guns and shooting. Threatening with guns. Characters are shot and killed. Horses shot, some to be put out of their misery. Blood spurts, bloody wounds. Character shot in head. Punching. Fighting, throwing man onto ground. Character bit by rattlesnake. Cut hand. Threats. Mentions of suicide.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing and romance (snuggling, nuzzling).
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Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bulls--t," "witch's t-t," "a--hole," "goddamn," "for Christ's sake," "son of a bitch," "bastard," "damn," "hell," "dickin' around," "jerk off," "stupid," "shut up." "Jesus" used as an exclamation.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character appears to be passed-out drunk; vomiting. His drinking is referred to again in dialogue. Background smoking. Character gets an injection of painkillers in the hospital.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Manhunt is a Western based on the true story of Willie Boy (Martin Sensmeier), a Chemehuevi desert runner involved in a forbidden romance, who, after an accidental killing, makes a run for it. It's a bit slow, but it's visually rich, well-acted, and timely. Violence includes guns and shooting, deaths of people and animals (horses), blood spurts, bloody wounds, fighting, punching, a rattlesnake bite, and more. Expect occasional uses of "f--k," "s--t," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," and more. A couple briefly kiss, cuddle, and caress each other. A woman has her period, and a trickle of blood is visible on her leg. A character is depicted as a hard drinker; he's seen passed out and vomits upon awakening. There's background smoking, and a character gets an injection of painkillers in the hospital. Jason Momoa, who co-wrote the story and co-produced, is heavily featured in the advertising materials but appears in only a few scenes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Even if its languid, loping storytelling lacks urgency, this small-scale, well-acted Western uses its rich, pictorial visual scheme to update the Willie Boy story in interesting, relevant ways. Jason Momoa spearheaded this project, a true story that was previously filmed as Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here in 1969. Momoa serves as executive producer and co-writer, as well as appearing in a few scenes. He also recruited his co-stars from the Apple TV+ series See, casting Mainei Kinimaka as Carlota and Christian Camargo as the sheriff. Camargo also directs, bringing a strong sense of style to The Last Manhunt. It almost feels like a mini-Terrence Malick effort, shot in a narrow aspect ratio and decorated with striking tracking shots and gorgeous "magic hour" images. (The movie's biggest flaw is easily its all-too-generic title.)
Willie Boy, who is a victim of circumstance and wrongly accused of murder, and Carlota are less fully fleshed out characters than they are symbolic. They seem to mostly serve the purpose of demonstrating the evils of prejudice. The White characters, meanwhile, are fatally flawed, rather than being heroes. Every character is clouded by something here, whether it be regret, grief, revenge, prejudice, or merely a dark twist of fate. The biggest change to the story from previous iterations is the addition of the newspaperman, who knows that fear sells papers and is not only willing but eager to flat-out lie about Willie Boy in his stories. He's an obvious forerunner to today's barrage of angry, politically slanted commentary disguising itself as news, and the movie's use of racism to flip Willie Boy into a creature to be feared and hated hits home. The Last Manhunt leaves off with a striking image, a shocking hypocrisy that's sure to remain seared in your memory.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.