Vicenarian Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. Excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
Ellen, an unknown female gunslinger rides into a small, dingy and depressing prairie town with a secret as to her reason for showing up. Shortly after her arrival, a local preacher, Cort, is thrown through the saloon doors while townfolk are signing up for a gun competition. The pot is a huge sum of money and the only rule: that you follow the rules of the man that set up the contest, Herod. Herod is also the owner, leader, and "ruler" of the town. Seems he's arranged this little gun-show-off so that the preacher (who use to be an outlaw and rode with Herod) will have to fight again. Cort refuses to ever use a gun to kill again and Herod, acknowledging Cort as one of the best, is determined to alter this line of thinking ... even if it gets someone killed ... Written by
Like the western "Wild Bill" that also came out around this time, this is a pretty wild, almost cartoon-like western. It has many pluses and minuses.
GOOD - Great sound, interesting camera angles and very stylishly shot. The visuals and audio make it interesting alone. Add a simple but interesting story filled with wild cartoon-like characters and you have a fun, fast-moving film. Western purists will hate the movie because it's filled with over-the-top characters. The most interesting, I thought, was Gene Hackman as the villain and Russell Crowe as the good-guy "preacher" named "Cort." Sharon Stone's character, "Ellen," is very reminiscent of the one she played in "The Specialist," a movie which came out the previous year in which - as in this movie - revenge is her main motive.
BAD - This is only bad if you are religiously-inclined. The "preacher" in here is questionable as such. No real preacher uses the Lord's name in vain which Crowe did twice here. His theology also is not Biblically, more like clueless Hollywood stereotypes. Also, there was a bit too much of the feminist slant in here. Then again, since Stone co-produced the film, it's not surprising. Actually, her character - especially when she begins to soften a bit - is interesting, too.
OVERALL - Despite the usual bias, the movie is fun to watch and entertaining.
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