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In a Valley of Violence | Western hero Ethan Hawke's canine co-star steals the show

In a Valley of Violence Jumpy Ethan Hawke
(Image credit: Sky)

There’s a streak of darkly funny absurdity running through this oddball Western starring Ethan Hawke, John Travolta and canine YouTube star Jumpy, finds Jason Best.

Keep Your Finger on the Trigger.

Horror specialist Ti West's oddball Western In a Valley of Violence boasts many staple elements of the genre, including a tight-lipped drifter hero seeking to atone for his violent past, played by Ethan Hawke, a dust-blown Texas town hostile to outsiders and sundry gunfights.

But there’s a streak of darkly funny absurdity running through the film as well, not least in the climactic in-the-street showdown, which finds John Travolta’s wooden-leg-toting marshal caught awkwardly in the middle when the bullets start to fly. Taissa Farmiga and Karen Gillan also pop up as a pair of quarrelsome sisters. But it is Hawke’s canine companion, Abbie (played by YouTube star Jumpy), the cutest screen dog since Uggie in The Artist, who steals the movie paws down.

Certificate 15. Runtime 99 mins. Director Ti West

In a Valley of Violence debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on Sunday 19 November. Available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Universal Pictures UK.