Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action.
A young man (Cruise) leaves Ireland with his landlord's daughter (Kidman) after some trouble with her father, and they dream of owning land at the big giveaway in Oklahoma ca. 1893. When ... See full summary »
This is the sequel to "Romancing the Stone" where Jack and Joan have their yacht and easy life, but are gradually getting bored with each other and this way of life. Joan accepts an ... See full summary »
"Nothing counts more than blood... the rest are just strangers," speaks Wyatt's father at the beginning of the film--the most important line perhaps in the movie, with the exception of Wyatt's own at the end "Some say it didn't happen that way," commenting upon a flashback recounting his brand of law and justice in the wild cattle town of Dodge City.
I wholeheartedly admit the film is long--but so are many other great films. I also admit that it is not the shoot 'em up Tombstone is, but this film is a far greater one, a character study of a man whose innocence is laid to rest by the harsh wilderness of both the American West and human nature. By the end of this movie, Wyatt is a used up and bitter man, and I would argue that this film was never meant to be a heroic portrayal of an individual, only a dark and complicated one. It reminds me thus of the greatest of character portrayals, Raging Bull--though I'm sure the parallel isn't obvious.
I probably am more forgiving of this film since I like Westerns, dark dramatic stories, and admittedly uneven plots, because the characters usually are so great in them. This one is no different, and was likely made for a viewer like me, and not the mainstream audience.
It's very ambitious, and successful, I believe, on its artistic merits. Whether it's "entertainment" for the masses, well that's another story altogether, and that story's name is probably "Tombstone."
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