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Sunday May 16th

Dull Script, Melodrama Send Film Out to Pasture

American Outlaws

The tagline for "American Outlaws" should say it all: "Bad is good again." Hmmm ... more like, "Bad is worse than it's ever been."

"American Outlaws" is what happens when some moron in Hollywood gets the bright idea that "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" should be dumbed-down and re-made for the zillionth time.

The story (if you can call it that), begins at the conclusion of the Civil War. Jesse James (Colin Farrell) and his buddies are sent back home to Missouri only to find that an evil railroad baron is forcing people in their hometown off the land to make way for the railroad.

In retaliation, James, his brother Frank and the three Younger brothers go on a mission to shut down the company by robbing all its money from local banks.

But "American Outlaws" is Hollywood schlock at its finest. Who needs a story line when you've got a few hunky guys on horses?

Throw in an obligatory love interest (Ali Larter's character, Zee), and you've got yourself a genuine piece of grade-A crap.

Les Mayfield, who directed the film, must be pretty proud that he can make even talented actors like Kathy Bates and Timothy Dalton seem wretched. The film jumps from scene to scene with sloppy editing -- blink, and you'll miss the eight months between scenes. I'll tell you what was left on the editing room floor: transition.

Writers Roderick Taylor and John Rogers obviously slept their way through the writing process -- the two managed to create arguably the worst script ever.

Not only is the dialogue bland, unfunny and unimaginative, "American Outlaws" relies on every clich

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