This Western has become a modest cult favourite since its release in 1993, when the film was met with mixed reviews but the performances of Kurt Russell (as Wyatt Earp) and especially Val Kilmer, for his memorably eccentric performance as the dying gunslinger Doc Holliday, garnered high praise. The movie opens with Wyatt Earp trying to put his violent past behind him, living happily in Tombstone with his brothers and the woman (Dana Delany) who puts his soul at ease. But a murderous gang called the Cowboys has burst on the scene, and Earp can't keep his gun belt off... any longer. The plot sounds routine, and in many ways it is, but Western buffs won't mind a bit thanks to a fine cast and some well-handled action on the part of Rambo director George P Cosmatos, who has yet to make a better film than this. --Jeff Shannon [show more]
This is an excellent version of the Wyatt Earp story with strong performances from Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp and Powers Boothe as the amoral Curly Bill Brocius. Val Kilmer's portrayal of Doc Holliday is a tour-de-force and his characterisation of Holliday as a cultured but deadly killer-gambler neatly counterpoints the more upright Earp.
From the introductory 'bloodbath' at a Mexican wedding scene through to the post-OK Corral vengeance ride, the movie romps along. The OK Corral gunfight has been carefully researched and we get a faithful rendition ogf the fateful 30 seconds it took for Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury to die at the hands of the lawmen. The only criticism is that the aftermath is telescoped so much. As a result the ambusgh and wounding of Virgil Earp and the murder of Morgan Earp do not have the right effect.
Nonethless, because of a tight story line and strong performances from even the most minor characters this is a "must see" Western.
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