Texas Rangers

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1

Originally planned for release last year (2000), TEXAS RANGERS stars Dylan McDermott of TV's THE PRACTICE, James Van der Beek and Rachel Liegh Cook of DAWSON'S CREEK and Ashton Kutcher of THAT 70s SHOW in an epic Western adventure about the second beginning of the legendary law enforcement group. In 1875, Mexican bandits are overrunning Texas while the Union Army is busy fighting with Indian tribes. In order to protect its land and assets, the governor of Texas orders the re-formation of the Texas Rangers, a group of lawmen whose sole job is to “clean up” the area by ridding the bandit problem. Chosen to lead this group is Leander McNelly (Dylan McDermott), a former preacher and Union soldier, who returned from war only to and find his wife and children killed by bandits. Joining him are other young men who lost family in similar situations, including Philadelphian Lincoln Rogers Dunnison (James Van Der Beek), a young man who watched his parents and brother gunned down by the chief bandit himself, King Fisher (Alfred Molina). With little gun fighting expertise or experience, the small group of thirty Rangers heads out to do battle in the name of law and order. The film is hampered by a straightforward plot, paper-thin villains, and bad word of mouth from being shelved for nearly two years. Most damaging of all though, is competition from blockbuster films like HARRY POTTER, MONSTER’S INC and patriotic themes in BEHIND ENEMY LINES that should round up most of the audience.

The most intriguing character in RANGERS is certainly Leander McNelly. A former preacher, McNelly now feels it’s his duty to take the process of justice into his own hands. At times, he appears to consciously set himself in the place of God as he metes out justice to various bandits. However, he ultimately acknowledges that his job is not to pronounce sentences, but merely to bring offenders into court where judges and juries handle it from there. Numerous gun battles take place where people are shot repeatedly, but wounds are rarely seen up close. Although they may be difficult to watch for some, a few hangings are short-lived scenes. Overall, the amount of violence is significant, but the severity is restrained. The film contains very little sexual content and major objectionable language consists of only one s-word and three strong profanities. Without the foul language, TEXAS RANGERS would be acceptable for older teens and adults to ride out and catch.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Miramax Films (Disney), 375 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (11) times – Mild 7, Moderate 4

Obscene Language: Once (s-word)

Profanity: Few (3) times – All Regular (GD 2, JC)

Violence: Many times – Mild and moderate (numerous gunfights but non-graphic wounds, people hanged, knife hits man in neck, man slapped to the ground, hit with rifle stock, stabbing, dynamite explosions)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near Nudity – Few times (cleavage emphasized by low-cut dress)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (comment about incest)

Drugs: None

Other: Man’s revenge puts himself in the place of God as he hands out justice; most characters acknowledge God’s existence

Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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