Eight years after walking cautiously, deliberately, bending every joint at odd angles, into the sunset on Justified, Timothy Olyphant announced Tuesday that FX’s one-off eight-episode sequel Justified: The City・Return with Primeval. She hit Hillbilly Noir. “Justified” has become one of the funniest TV shows in decades, largely because Olyphant is a smoldering but sensitive, gun-and-gun alike quick-witted Commonwealth fantasy of a frontier magistrate. Olyphant plays Sheriff Raylan Givens in a cool, obliquely sexy way. pathetic comeback.
Oliphant doesn’t miss a single syncopated beat on “City Primeval.” The film is based on Elmore Leonard’s novel of the same name, which spawned Givens and followed his career in several books and stories. The character left the page and became entirely Olyphant’s. It’s a wonderfully economical performance, all slouched and slovenly-eyed, a depraved world in which Raylan navigates through Olyphant’s sly repertoire of expressions (grins, smirks, smiles, stern stares, absent-minded bewilderment). provide a moral thermometer for
Onscreen, Raylan is more than eight years older, and although he now has a teenage daughter, Willa (played by Olyphant’s daughter Vivian Olyphant), she was still a baby when Justified ended. Acerbic and characterizing references to his old age are made. Chasing a bad guy at this age means he’s either abandoned or loves it too much. A retired police officer told him: Except you are old. These comments cause cognitive dissonance, because even though Olyphant has gray hair, she doesn’t look a day older. That might be considered a failure of his performance, but come on. We all know what we are here for.
And it’s good that the original Raylan still exists. Because despite the work of many old Justified crew members, including writer-producers Dave Andron and Michael Dinner, and a seasoned new cast, “City Primeval” is brilliantly shot and acted. Because it was wonderful and full of feelings and emotions. The violent action feels like a copycat after all. The body looks fine, but most of the soul is missing.