Gunslinger Johnny Fierro’s rebirth as John Sinclair, son of a New Mexico rancher, is complete. Or is it?
Far from killing Guthrie Sinclair, the man his mother, Gabriela, had fled when he was only a child, Johnny has relented and let the old man take him into his domestic establishment. But his father isn’t exactly the nurturing type. And even if he were, it’s going to take more than a few kind words to civilize Johnny, who insists on calling his half brother, Guy, “Harvard,” complains about his foster sister Peggy’s cooking, and declines to introduce himself to Guthrie’s widowed neighbor, genteel racist rancher Edith Walsh, even when he’s doing a good deed for her. And that’s just when he’s at home. Let’s not even talk about Johnny’s gunfights, which claim a total of eight forgettable adversaries, and his habit of presenting himself at Delice Martin’s Cimarron whorehouse to celebrate each time by picking out a brace of young ladies equal to the number of victims he’s just shot dead. Will Johnny ever settle down, grow up, and clean up his language? Of course he will, but not quite yet in this second installment (Dance with the Devil, 2014), which features rudimentary plotting, primitive thought processes on the parts of even the most avowedly complicated characters, and tin-ear dialogue that blithely flouts genre and period norms, from Johnny’s suave self-qualification to the widow Walsh (“if I may say so”) to the experienced madam’s admonition to Johnny (“you really are clueless”).
Strictly for die-hard fans who won’t mind that even the shootouts are rushed and muddled.