In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw "smokers," and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.
Michael Madsen who plays Virgil is actually 4 years younger than Kevin Costner who plays Wyatt, Virgil's younger brother. See more »
In the beginning of the movie (1865, the Civil War's end), the Earp family is sitting around a table talking about moving to California. Martha Earp is supposedly going to be staying in Iowa instead of moving with the family so she can marry Jimmy Jorgenson. Such a dilemma is moot as 10-year-old Martha Earp died in 1856, 9 years prior to this scene. See more »
Wyatt, you ever wonder why we been a part of so many unfortunate incidents, yet we're still walking around? I have figured it out. It's nothing much, just luck. And you know why it's nothing much Wyatt? Because it doesn't matter much whether we are here today or not. I wake up every morning looking in the face of Death, and you know what? He ain't half bad. I think the secret old Mr. Death is holding is that it's better for some of us over on the other side. I know it can't be any worse for me....
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"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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