By Chris Willman
August 06, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
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  • Movie
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In the great tradition of ”The Marrying Man” and ”Gigli” comes another dud lending credence to the maxim that on-set romantic sparks result in inexplicably chemistry-free movies. Aside from getting Naomi Watts out of the deal, Ledger might wish he’d filmed the story of Ned Beatty or Ned Flanders, any Ned but the real-life 19th-century outlaw who’s an icon in Australia and a nonentity in the rest of the world — a disparity only enhanced by this dully serious ”Western.” A 1970 version was loopy enough that Mick Jagger’s casting as the gunslinger with a bushy beard Down Under his chin was out-weirded by the Waylon Jennings-sung score. The tip-off to how dreadfully straight and pallid the latest take is: nearly nonstop orchestral swelling that foreshadows the beloved antihero’s martyrdom.

EXTRAS A featurette examines Kelly biopics dating back to the silent era, and a still gallery spotlights an ad campaign focusing on individual stars — even Watts and Geoffrey Rush, who merited their own posters despite turning in virtual cameos.

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  • Movie
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mpaa
  • PG-13
runtime
  • 109 minutes
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