Having got off a train he had been riding Hobo (Rutger Hauer) enters a small town where he quickly comes to despair at the detritus he sees from a film maker filming two bums fighting in a back alley to the sick violence of a man in a white suit and his heavies. When witnessing this stuff becomes too much for him he decides to take matters in to his own hands and dishes out some brutal justice which brings him to the attention of everyone; from the cops to the media as well as the criminals he is wiping off the streets.
The best thing about "Hobo with a Shotgun" is the casting of Rutger Hauer as he has the grizzled almost leather like features of someone who has travelled life's highways with every moment of living etched with in the creases on his face. But it is a look which also makes us warm to him as whilst he is a hobo he looks like a caring one, one with a sense of nostalgia about him which makes us think for all the things which are eating away at him he would till make a good grandfather as he has that caring side. But then there is Hauer's movie past which comes in to play and remembering him as the sword yielding Nick Parker in "Blind Fury" helps to make him believable as a man capable of killing.
But beyond the brilliant casting of Hauer "Hobo with a Shotgun" doesn't do it for me and that comes down to it trying too hard to be Grindhouse. From the look, the one liners and right down to the ridiculously over the top violence it just feels forced. It is a shame as the basic storyline is right and some of the moments of violence could have worked but it goes so over the top that it just ends up nonsense.
What this all boils down to is that "Hobo with a Shotgun" just didn't do it for me and just feels like it is trying far too hard to be something it isn't. If it wasn't for the casting of Rutger Hauer it would have simply been unwatchable as it is Hauer who manages to bring some soul to all this nonsense.