THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN (1979)

It's odd to experience such obviously catered-to-opening-night-audience mainstream fare from the 1970's, a decade supposedly against the kind of sellout cinema churned out more obviously in the decades that followed... Yet the main problem with THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN is the title character, a has-been rodeo star played by Robert Redford, seeming so outright tired of fame that it never feels possible he was once a professional at anything... and the connected capitalism/commercialism... in the form of a breakfast cereal he's reluctantly hawking... is also too forced and overboard to take seriously...

Meanwhile the shallow corporate goons are so shamelessly unlikable that Jane Fonda... as a journalist bent on interviewing the dissociated (thus uninteresting) Redford... never has to prove herself a worthy love-interest being merely a better person than the scum surrounding her... And the buried lead plot-line, of Redford saving an abused horse used for the commercials in the central locale of glitzy Las Vegas, feels weakly tacked onto a picture that spends too much time spoon-feeding its audience, so that... after even a mere ten minutes... everything tastes the same. RATES: **

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