The Fabulous Four Ride
If you like westerns then you'll like "Silverado" and if you don't like westerns well there is still a good chance that you will like "Silverado". You see "Silverado" is very much in the form of a classic western full of action, gunfights, heroes, cliches and screams of "yee-haa". But it's a western which doesn't take itself seriously its fun with a range of characters and cast which deliver moments of comedy and stupidity. And if that doesn't appeal then, well I guess "Silverado" probably won't either, which is a shame as it is a marvellous movie full of imagination, humour and a whole list of well known names.
After surviving a shoot out Emmett (Scott Glenn - Nights in Rodanthe) discovers Paden (Kevin Kline - The Big Chill) in the middle of the plains laying there in just his long johns. Well they strike up a friendship and head off to a nearby town where they meet Mal (Danny Glover - 2012) who being a black guy in a white bar is getting thrown out. They also discover Emmets' brother Jake (Kevin Costner - Rumor Has It...) who is due to be hung. Well needless to say Jake doesn't get hung and these four men end up riding together where having helped out some travellers and then going their own way find that their paths leads them to Silverado where a local land owner is causing trouble and the law is in cahoots.
Reading that synopsis you wouldn't be wrong in assuming that "Silverado" is full of classic western cliches and to be honest why not as "Silverado" plays like a homage to the golden era of the western. In fact I barely scratched the surface with that quick synopsis as I doubt there is a single western cliche not somehow squeezed into the storyline. And as such "Silverado" is also filled with all those classic western elements, the gun fights, stampedes, flashy gun slingers, cowboys jumping horses, damsels in distress and the list goes on and on; wonderfully so because somehow all these western elements and cliches work brilliantly providing that homage to westerns which director Lawrence Kasdan was obviously aiming for.
But what makes "Silverado" different is that it doesn't take itself seriously, being intentionally cheesy in places, quirky in others and damn right hilarious throughout, especially with the casting of John Cleese as a sheriff. But whilst it's funny it's not a comedy or not to the extent of say "Blazing Saddles". The humorous elements all help to build up this entertaining story allowing it to make fun of western cliches without it feeling like a parody. So when Emmett, after staggering around looking half dead, gets some bad news and suddenly gets up all powerfully it's cheesily amusing showing the scene for all it's cheesy glory. Yet at the same time its part of the storyline allowing it to bring in so many western elements without feeling totally stupid.
And what makes all of this come together is a star studded cast. You get Scott Glenn, Danny Glover, Kevin Kline and a young and enthusiastic Kevin Costner taking up the four main roles all bringing something a little bit different with Kline bringing so much straight faced humour it's ridiculous whilst Costner's boyish enthusiasm is amusing in itself. But these are not the only stars and as already mentioned you have the most unlikeliest Sheriff in John Cleese but you also get Rosanna Arquette, Brian Dennehy, Jeff Goldblum, Joe Seneca, James Gammon and the wonderful Linda Hunt.
What this all boils down to is that "Silverado" is a fabulous movie which has all the elements to appeal to western fans but just as many elements to those who dislike westerns. It's a great homage to classic westerns which doesn't take itself seriously allowing it to deliver up as much humour as there is action without it ending up a parody.