Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rewatch: Tombstone

1993, George P. Cosmatos (Leviathan) -- download

Speaking of Kurt Russell's moustache, it inspired a rewatch of Tombstone, otherwise known as The Other Wyatt Earp movie. Sometimes two movies are produced at roughly the same time with the same basic plot, which I recently learned are called Twin Films.  The other one, Wyatt Earp, is a Costner epic and surprisingly, considering my fondness for Costner epics, not my favourite of the two.  This one, with its cast full of Hey It's That Guy supporting actors, and great one liners ("I'm your huckleberry...") really spoke to me at the time. It doesn't exactly stand up to time, but it is still a nice, solid, summer blockbuster style movie.

Wyatt and his brothers arrive in Tombstone hoping to leave behind his lawman days. He has had enough of violence and just wants to settle down with his family and make some money. And yet violence is what they walk into, as they move into the territory of The Cowboys, a rather oddly common name for a wide ranging band of outlaws who control the territory. Of course, Wyatt cannot hang up his guns and it is here, in this town, he makes his even greater name in the Gunfight at the OK Corral.

Wyatt is setup as the nice, calm and moral man with a talent for violence. He doesn't want to hurt or kill people, but he doesn't shy away from it. And ever by his side is wise cracking, sickly Doc Holiday, played by Val Kilmer is one of his most recognizable roles. Seriously, he is just a ray of bright light in an otherwise grim movie. Not that I am complaining, for the grim works here. As Wyatt is forced into the path to eliminate The Cowboys, the calm becomes cold rage with the  Earp Vendetta Ride. That ride is shared with Bill Paxton, Sam Elliott, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Michael Rooker, Jason Priestly, Thomas Haden Church and many others; it was seminal ensemble cast of the 90s.