Directed by Paris Barclay
December 14, 1996
Told in flashbacks, we learn the story of The Cherokee Kid and his quest to avenge the deaths of his family.
The Cherokee Kid is a Western comedy from the mid90s starring Sinbad as the title character. I first heard about this film while scrolling through videos on YouTube and I watched one about this movie from someone who was surprised that this movie existed. I was left with the impression they were a big Sinbad fan but this one had managed to slip by them. The video intrigued me and knowing from that video there were a few versions of this movie available on the site, I sought one out and here we are.
The Cherokee Kid, whose father is half Cherokee, starts out life as Isaiah Turner living in the Oklahoma Territory with his mother, father, and brother Jedediah. After his family is killed or presumed killed, he vows revenge. From there this movie becomes your standard revenge tail with heavy comedy elements.
Isaiah is not a competent revenge seeker. He is unsure and bumbling. He knows what he wants but lacks the courage and skill to make it happen. The man cannot even shoot a gun straight. Along the course of his journey he learns how to become a gunslinger and encounters those that show him how to be a man that can exact the revenge he seeks.
We have a good cast here with actors at varying stages of their careers. Burt Reynolds plays mountain man Otter Bob. Gregory Hines plays The Undertaker who also happens to be Isaiah’s brother Jedediah (but that is not put out there right away). A. Martinez is Isaiah’s unwanted travelling companion Juan Nepomuceno Cortina. The great Ernie Hudson plays Nat Love who is a gunslinger that helps teach Isaiah. Dawnn Lewis is Stagecoach Mary who makes a man out of our hero. Vanessa Bell Calloway plays Abby who is the eventual love interest.
The great James Coburn is Cyrus B. Bloomington who is the villain of the film and ultimately responsible for the death of Isaiah’s family. Bloomington is a wealthy businessman and now plans on becoming governor which puts Isaiah’s quest on a clock. Isaiah knows should he become governor, and it looks like he might, Bloomington will be unreachable.
I did not buy much into the romance here between Abby and Isaiah. It just kind of came out of nowhere in the story. They meet and then there is a romance. It seemed forced in for no good reason. The film would have been fine and unaffected if it had not been included. Other than that it was a good film.
The Cherokee Kid was produced for HBO around 20 years ago. And it does feel a little bit like a TV movie but it is not a halfhearted effort. They put some real effort into this movie to give us a quality movie. It is not the funniest comedy you will encounter but it is a lighter effort with a good script that will leave you feeling good. I would not say you will laugh out loud, but you will smile and the story will go down easy.
The Cherokee Kid is an entertaining Western comedy. If the laughs were harder I might call this a “must see” but since you only smile I will say if you want. Not great but not without the potential for rewatchability.