In the new sequel, a couple of
decades have passed since "Lonesome Dove." Capt. Woodrow
Call has retired from the Texas Rangers, and is not too
happy about age setting in. He has a touch of arthritis,
his eyesight is fading and it's something of a chore
just to get on a horse. But he keeps on working. As a
freelance bounty hunter, he sets out after some vicious
train robbers, the worst of them a 17-year-old blond,
blue-eyed Mexican boy named Joey Garza. As someone says,
Joey is less interested in the robbing than in the
Going along with Call, after much hesitation, is Pea Eye
Parker, his former corporal, now married to Lorena, the
former prostitute, who has become a schoolteacher and
loving mother of five. Living on the other edge of the
Mexican border is Maria Garza, another strong woman
whose life with a string of feckless lovers has produced
the resentfully evil Joey and two younger children, a
blind girl and a retarded boy. Maria has childhood
memories of her father and brothers being hanged by Call
for horse stealing. Call has always been a severe
lawman. The lives of these characters will be
inextricably entwined by story's end.
John J. O'Connor, NY Times:
It's big, sprawling, violent and initially uneven, but finally, thanks largely
to James Garner, quite splendid... Especially in the first hour or two, "Streets
of Laredo" tends to meander. Some of the dialogue falls curiously flat, as if
the scenes were talk-through rehearsals. But Mr. McMurtry and his co-writer on
the script, Diana Ossana, gradually find their footing with a wonderful
collection of characters, major and minor, with good guys and nasty varmints...
This is a great cast giving powerful performances. But as usual, Mr. Garner is a
bit greater than most. It is just about impossible to figure out who brings the
more mythic proportions, Woodrow Call or James Garner. The meld is seamless.
Ken Tucker, EW:
A great big ol' juicy Western you can sink your teeth into, Larry McMurtry's
"Streets of Laredo" is the truly fitting sequel to 1989's great "Lonesome
Dove"...In addition to the pig termination, there are bloody gunfights, the
sight of a dead nude body, a leg amputation - and every bit of this is
dramatically justified. McMurtry's ongoing point is that much of the old West
was a cruel, violent place where people enacted their own moral codes. It's the
serious subtext to a wonderfully entertaining TV movie.
Tony Scott, Variety:
Garner's Call is relenting and mellowing - elegant word for aging - and
entertains self-doubts. Braga's Maria, alternating between tenderness and fury
as Joey's powerful, confused mother, commands her scenes. Spacek's
interpretation of the experienced Lorena is a rich concept of the pioneer woman
with a past.
Cruz's cold-eyed Joey, with his long, ashen hair and insolent style, holds
attention. Studi's level-headed Famous Shoes is a plus; Shepard adds to the
piece as soft-spoken, tamed Pea Eye.
Director Sargent works purposeful setups to reveal insights,
tightcloseups to discover facets of a character, long shots of the barren land
to show how rough life is. Production designer Jerry Wanek has established the
worn-out feel of the land with his villages and location sites along the Rio
Grande; he faithfully captures the period and its sense of loneliness and loss
as the West gives way to law and railroads. Wanek has cunningly recreated an era
that may not have been, and he gives it substance.
Edward Pei's photography is lovely; his composition, use of muted colors,
sweeping shots of the lonely valleys and rock lands and his sense of historical
perspective all contribute to the production's strengths. Thanks to Debra
Karen's editing, the drama, buoyed by David Shire's near-sweeping score, keeps
up its beckoning pace.
True West Magazine:
Wes Studi is very fine as the Kickapoo tracker Famous Shoes, who is one of
McMurtry’s finest, and funniest, creations, and who also appears in Comanche
Moon. Sam Shepard gives Pea Eye Parker a measure of woe that comes new to the
character. McMurtry couldn’t have done better than Garner for Call, but Sissy
Spacek isn’t up to the challenge of playing Lorena Parker. Hers is not a
demanding role, but Spacek doesn’t hit it with any conviction, and the movie
falls short, especially since she occupies so much time in the story.