200 words about Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers was released 10 weeks after 9/11

When we set out knowingly to watch a “bad” movie, what we really hope to do is watch a weird one. We know that just as the meticulous planning and vision of the artistically successful can lead to moments of revelatory, impactful cinema, so too can the blind, stumbling efforts of the artistically hapless lead to moments of sublime strangeness. In that state of mind, a 2001 western named Texas Rangers starring Dylan McDermott, James Van Der Beek, Ashton Kutcher and Usher Raymond delivers a specific hit of titillation. Then we’re introduced to Dylan McDermott’s character waist-deep in a grave he’s digging for himself. Then Ashton Kutcher plays a traumatized frontiersman with the exact spasmodic mania of his character in Dude Where’s My Car? Then James Van Der Beek mouths the word “boom” when he shoots his gun. Then Alfred Molina does a terrifying version of the soy face. Then there’s an entire sequence shot in lighting that, were it an Instagram filter, would be called “Windows 95.” It’s the wild stuff that comes when a director believes he’s convoking a stable of hot young talent only to end up with the collective charisma of your kitchen’s condiment packet drawer.