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 »
Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known ... 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 »
Originally conceived as a six-hour mini-series. See more »
In the film's first scene, Wyatt is shown sipping coffee in a darkened room. But the heavy cloud of steam coming from the cup indicates that there is no real coffee inside; actual coffee that hot would badly burn his lips if he attempted to drink it. See more »
Kasdan and Costner's Lyrical, yet Uneven Western...
WYATT EARP, the second of the epic films about the legendary lawman released between 1993-94, lacked the commercial values that made TOMBSTONE successful, but was a far riskier film, with higher aspirations. Writer/Director Lawrence Kasdan, whose previous Western, SILVERADO (1985), had paid homage to Hollywood's Western clichés, wanted, with WYATT EARP, to cut through the myths, and create a film that would honestly examine an all-too-human Earp's life in the 'real' West, set against vistas of that were nearly overpowering in their immense size and beauty. Unfortunately, the result was a mixed bag; while the film is beautiful to look at (with one of the most majestic film scores of recent years, composed by James Newton Howard), the characters (with the exception of Dennis Quaid's 'Doc Holiday') lack charisma, with Kevin Costner's portrayal of Earp so flat that it is difficult to arouse much interest in him (it would be nearly ten years before he finally 'got it right', in OPEN RANGE). The film ultimately comes across as overblown and overlong, with it's memorable moments nearly lost amid panoramic views of the West.
I still think, however, that WYATT EARP has a few redeeming qualities which make it worth viewing. Foremost is Dennis Quaid, giving the performance of a lifetime as the dying Doc Holiday. The actor lost over forty pounds to play the role, and is physically the closest in appearance to the dentist-turned-gambler/gunfighter of all the actors who have ever portrayed him. Gaunt, dripping sarcasm with a Southern accent between hacking tubercular coughs, Quaid seizes each scene he's in, and certainly deserved Oscar consideration. It is ironic that his performance had to follow TOMBSTONE's flamboyant 'Doc', Val Kilmer, who created such an over-the-top, audience-friendly character, that Quaid's more realistic portrayal would be forgotten.
Another reason to watch WYATT EARP is it's presentation of the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and it's aftermath. With the exception of John Sturges' HOUR OF THE GUN, no Westerns before TOMBSTONE and WYATT EARP had told the full story of the events, from the brief but deadly shootout, through the subsequent murder trial against the Earps, and Ike Clanton's vengeance, afterwards, resulting in Morgan Earp's murder, and Virgil Earp being crippled for life. Wyatt's bloody vendetta against Clanton and his allies was a grim reminder of 'frontier justice' and his ruthlessness even appalled Doc Holliday. The film doesn't attempt to gloss over or glorify Earp's actions, but does try to explain it, as an obligation to his family, who were the cornerstone of his life. Unfortunately, it took WYATT EARP nearly two hours to finally reach Tombstone, by which time audiences were fidgeting in their seats!
Uneven, but at times powerful, WYATT EARP was a major box office failure when released, and it never achieved the 'Classic' stature TOMBSTONE has, over the years. But it isn't a bad film, and Kasdan should be credited for his willingness to take an original look at a Western legend. It will be interesting to hear his comments, if a 'Director's Cut' DVD is ever released!
54 of 70 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?