The Hero: Too Understated, Not Enough Credit

Posted 07/31/2017 1842

Sam Elliot notable for westerns such as "The Sacketts", "Tombstone", "Ghost Rider", and "Road House" - not to mention his epic role in the Netflix original series, "The Ranch" and guest star appearance in Netflix's "Gracie and Frankie" stars as Lee Hayden in this Western-based film "The Hero."

Lee Hayden, (Sam Elliot) finds himself a bit washed up after decades of famedom and notoriety as an iconic country singer and actor. His most popular film happens to be "The Hero" which he received the most acclaim for and that which "branded" him as a country cowboy.

He thinks about the past too much and smokes too much weed to get him by his constant past-dwelling stupers. He does this just to remember the taste and to bask in " his glory days" with his co-conspirater and "drug dealer, enabler"- Jeremy (Nick Offerman.)

Although he now earns his livelihood by doing commercials only advertised through the radio, his voice is still somber and unique. Additionally, he has even put his name on a BBQ sauce to brand him further as his haydays of fame in the spotlight are far gone and in the past.

Les Hayden continues to avoid the hard-realization of his mortality as a once, fame-bitten legend. But is then greeted with a new, cold-hard truth.  Lee has cancer, and it comes a hard blow (as it should) - and changes his entire perspective and take on life.

In the midst of this dramatic turn in his life, Lee meets an aspiring comedy queen "Charlotte" (Laura Prepon) many years his junior - who inspires him and excites him again, romantically.

This complicates things as Lee is searching his soul and attempting to right the many wrongs of his past after coming face-to-face with his mortality. One of these wrongs is that Lee makes efforts to make things right with his estranged daughter, (Kristen Ritter) Lucy.

 But, Lee is still ever-looking for the role that could define him before he dies. He wants to be more than an icon, he wants to leave an incredible, unforgettable, Legacy.

So as the story unfolds, Lee is met with surprise after surprise. Mainly his new romantic interest with a much younger woman - and the other is that the probability of him nailing a "new" film is not so out of the question, impossible.

"The Hero" does not cover anything that has not already been covered in other such movies of the realization of washed-up famous people who are faced with their demise physically and career-wise. But the lesson here to be taken away is that past-mistakes can be remedied with efforts, and that with the blink of the eye -everything can change for better or for worse.

In "The Hero" Elliot is his usual awesome, charismatic, understated self. He carries this film (which at times) falters with a weak storyline that could have been better. It is a monumental performance by Elliot which is demonstrative of what we have always loved about him in his films.