It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"Waterhole No. 3," advertised as a Western comedy, is approximately as hilarious, as a pail of limp grits.
I think I've figured out why. James Coburn is not funny. What's more, he's actively unfunny, and what he does to a funny line shouldn't be done to a dog, although it often is.
There are a few rare geniuses who cannot help being funny. All Jack Benny does is cross his arms. Groucho Marx needs only to walk. W.C. Fields was so funny that you'd laugh if all he did was stand there. Even with his back to you. There was something about him.
Coburn has exactly the reverse effect. He can corrupt good comic material by his mere presence. Most good comedians have a certain abandon while they are working; they are not afraid of appearing foolish. Not Coburn, who comes across on the screen as one of the most self-conscious actors now in the movies. Every wink and twitch is calculated, and you can almost see him thinking about how he looks while he's doing it. Coburn is never ridiculous. He is always cool. Supercool.