Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) review

So I just got finished watching Hobo with a Shotgun and this movie is amazing. I have to say i loved everything about it. Let’s get right into it.

For those who don’t know, Hobo with a Shotgun is a Canadian-American co-production directed by Jason Eisner and starring Rutger Hauer as the title character. The film is about a traveling hobo that comes to a new town on a train. He gets exposed to the defilement and corruption of the city and decides he’s had enough of it. He purchases a shot gun and works on cleaning up the city run by the evil Drake family, lead by Drake (Brian Downey), Slick (Gregory Smith), and Ivan (Nick Bateman).

The story and plot are good. While the story isn’t some intense work full of twists and turns, it’s doesn’t have to as it’s not one of those movies. It works for the kind of film it is. It works pretty well at setting up the characters and the world and how messed up and corrupt everything is. One way to describe this world is that it’s like if the purge was always happening. Everything works for this kind of revenge story. 

The characters all work well and the performances are all amazing. Sure there’s a lot of over the top performances (looking at you Slick and Ivan) but it works for their characters. Rutger Hauer is great as the titular hobo, a kind hearted soul who eventually gets beat down enough by this town that he decides to take the law into his own hands. He’s hardened but also has a heart underneath it all. His relationship with Abby (played by Molly Dunsworth) works well as a father daughter relationship and she’s one of the reasons he’s doing what he does. Speaking of Abby, she’s pretty good as well, especially as she gets all messed up during this movie. Drake, Slick, and Ivan all work as villains as they’re insanely charismatic and hilarious, while also being insanely hate-able with the things they pull in the film.  Slick and Ivan are like the worst dude-bros  in the world times a million. One thing is that I actually wish that Slick was in the film for longer as he’s kind of the one set up as the main baddie as he’s the one most direct with the Hobo and does some of the most detestable stuff in the film. It does set up for Drake though who is the root cause of a lot of the issues in the film. 

Moving on the action was amazing, especially for a low-budget Canadian film. It was bloody and gory and all looked amazing. It used it’s low-budget nature to it’s advantage, it keeps everything simple and in smaller places. What helps the most is that most of it is bloody with most of the big action taking place in a couple of scenes. The gore is all pretty good and effective, especially in the ending part. Everything else technical is great as well. The camerawork and lighting was really good and sold the kind of grind house style the film is going for. The use of lights helped create a sense of dread in certain scenes and is really cool throughout the rest of the film. The soundtrack was great as well, helping with the 80s throughback feeling. 

The stand-outs for me are the amazing costumes for the character group known as The Plague, made up of the sword-wielding Rip (also played by Nick Batemen) and the bulky noose gun wielder known as Grinder (Peter Simas). This group is where a lot of the action come from with their attack on the hospital being a great scene showing their abilities and what they do. 

Some fun cameos are in the film of well-known Canadian celebrities.

Over-all this is a fun grind house movie that’s a throwback to 80s movies (man, it seems like those are the only movies I’ve been watching lately). It’s a good comfort food movie. If you haven’t seen it yet I’d recommend you watch, and if you have seen it just watch it again. Two Thumbs Up !

Also Nick Batemen was also in a couple of amazing Gambit short films that i would recommend everyone to watch as well.