Dec 30, 2007

Overrated films part 23

I haven't written about film in a long time so I felt overdue. Going with the overrated category can be a chore as most of them seem pretty obvious (Titanic, Shakespeare in Love). That being said since everyone feels that their taste in movies is superior to anyone else I feel I should take a stab at a Western everybody worships.

No it is not 'High Noon' or 'Unforgiven', but 'Tombstone' became a massive hit and it's not hard to see why. Witty dialogue, great characters, and a brilliant performance by Val Kilmer ensured this film reached out to fans not only of Westerns, but people who enjoy action comedies as well. The gunfights, for the most part, are well staged and exciting. The supporting cast is fun to watch, especially the hot Dana Delaney.

The film, like many on my overrated list, is incredibly flawed though. Kurt Russel may be reliable as he normally is, but it's difficult to imagine him as famed gunfighter Wyatt Earp. That's not largely his fault as his dialogue was hardly authentic post Civil War tongue, but still he does well with what he's given. While some of the scenes are witty some are unintentionally funny at the same time.

The biggest problem I have with this movie is how it takes such as sharp dive after the gunfight at the OK Corral. With a first half that provides decent character development and exciting gun play the film reduces itself to ridiculous montage sequences of action so hokey you can't help but roll your eyes. One shot in particular intrigues me as it's just Kurt Russel shooting into the camera looking straight into the lens. It is as silly as it sounds. Plot lines are all over the board and characters seem to come and go with nary an impression left. It tries hard to be a Leone western at times, but it can't seem to commit enough to bring that sense of spaghetti feel.

While there are high points of this film and I do enjoy it it almost ranks up there with 'Full Metal Jacket' as half the film is far superior to the other. Still it's worth seeing, but not as great as the public holds it to be.

"It has problems — a LOT of problems — but as bubblegum westerns go, there's also a lot to like." - Rob Vaux

1 comment:

Mattbear said...

Not surprisingly, I freakin love this movie. Mostly due to Val Kilmer's performance, which is probably the only time I've said anything positive about him.