Though it is unquestionably a great film in my mind, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a strange beast of meshing tones, genres, and storytelling techniques. Dynamic as hell, it has the ability to jump at a (strange) moment’s notice from farcical, tongue-in-cheek roguishness more fit for a straight comedy to pensive, anti-western mythmaking more in keeping with late 60s-early 70s westerns. A particularly fitting example is when the protagonists escape to Bolivia: there, we are hit with the wonderful irony of Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and Sundance Kid’s (Robert Redford) professional transmogrification from bank robbers to payroll security; but before this can be relished, both characters are confronted by outlaws not unlike themselves (albeit more lethal), which rapidly culminates in a slow-motion shootout analogous to Peckinpah’s bloody masterpiece The Wild Bunch. The shift is shocking–as one of such a violent nature should be.
[DEFEAT. is Rendar Frankenstein's truest attempt at fiction. Presented in weekly episodes, the novella tells the tale of Daryl Millar - a hero who dies at the intersection of pop culture, science-fiction, war epic, and fantasy]
Daryl woke up dizzy and thirsty, but he wasn’t convinced that he could blame it on the Colt 45. No, Daryl remembered that by the time he had come home and gotten into bed he had been sober. Practically. But trying to stand up, he couldn’t shake off his light head and tight chest.
“Why’re my damn lungs on fire?”
And then the recollection. Cigarettes and incense and smoke. He had been totally absorbed. Yes, Daryl now saw images of the mystic who had shown him…well, he knew what she had shown him, but it was too early to start trying to figure out what it meant.
“Hiya there, kiddo!” interjected Gramps, just in time to prevent the dangerous heavy thinking that sometimes follows an evening of heavy drinking. Easing his way through the threshold, Clark moved towards his favorite grandchild. “From the looks of it, I’d guess that someone had a good time last night!” The elder statesman of the Millar tribe slapped his grandson on the shoulder, laughing and remembering his own youthful indiscretions. “I hope she was worth it — and if I know you, I’m sure she was!”
“Nah, Gramps, nothing like that — it was a night out with the boys.” Sitting back down on the edge of his bed, Daryl shot a hand through his hair.
“Oh, I thought I had heard something about you taking out a lady?”
Remembering his plans for the evening, Daryl reassured himself. “Oh yeah! I’m taking Vanessa out tonight!”
Gramps inquired, with a glimmer in his eyes of a man who knows, “And what is it that you’re planning on doing with this Vanessa?”
“Well, I think we’re going to head to the movies.”
“Good idea — nice and dark, you can really make your move in a theater!”