Hollywood@Home: The Stolen

Twasn’t no dingo that stole my baby in the Down Under western, “The Stolen.”

Plenty of pretty pictures, but little else for fans of the western genre in “The Stolen.” Alice Eve stars as an English immigrant, making a new life for herself in 1860’s New Zealand. When her husband is killed and baby stolen during a home invasion, Charlotte Lockton (Eve) decides to pursue the criminals to a gold rush town filled with miners, prostitutes and cutthroat entrepreneurs. It’s a risky undertaking for a wealthy woman, unprepared for battle with over sexed kiwi gold panners. They are a nasty, lecherous bunch, as Lockton soon finds out.

“The Stolen” is pretty much an all-around disaster. The story defies logic at every turn. The screenplay is poorly conceived and written. Why would a woman of means pursue murdering kidnappers into a lawless town far from her home without hiring protection? Lockhart is not exactly handy with a gun.

The acting is as cold as New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier. It’s like everyone from the top down was given their lines just before shooting. The sets built for the film look fake and uninhabited.

As far as those pretty pictures I mentioned: the producers make Alice Eve attractive in almost every scene. It’s comical how kempt she remains even at her lowest point. The cinematography is notable. How can you fail when the uber-attractive New Zealand is your backdrop? It’s a no-brainer.

There’s no overwhelming reason to invest your time in “The Stolen.” It’s poorly constructed, directed and written. Alice Eve adds no star-power. Her looks are not enough. And, if you want to see New Zealand, buy an airline ticket, a picture book or rent “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Grade: D

Note: “The Stolen” was released by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on January 2, 2018. It’s available on Blu-ray or DVD.

There are plenty of kiwi cowboys getting rich on gold in “The Stolen.”