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#131 - Tombstone
George P. Cosmatos, 1993



An ex-lawman and his brothers attempt to build a new life for themselves in a bustling town but must deal with a local gang of outlaws.

In theory, I should love Tombstone. A modern take on a classic Western legend that not only features an all-star cast but has Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer headlining it (as righteous lawmaker Wyatt Earp and his roguish associate "Doc" Holliday respectively) should be a thoroughly enjoyable adventure, yet I have never found it to be anything more than passable. I don't deny that it's got its good parts - Russell is as charming as ever, while Kilmer delivers one of his greatest performances as the sickly charismatic gambler who steals every scene he's in. The sheer amount of talent in the cast is such that I could just copy out their names and add in the good moments that they get throughout a film that moves at a quick enough pace to really make the time fly. However, the film's attempt to bring the same tone and vibe of your typical old-school Hollywood Western into the 1990s makes the film feel a bit too dry at times, as does the film's tendency to revel a bit too much in broadly-drawn vignettes involving everything from tense showdowns to romantic melodramatics; even the better instances of such vignettes are dragged down by the lesser ones. I wouldn't go so far as to say that there's anything truly awful about the film, but it's just so fundamentally weak that I can only really look at it as a handful of good scenes haphazardly scattered across a film that doesn't do anything especially new or interesting for the most part. Still, a handful of good scenes is better than a lot of films manage and Kilmer alone is enough to stop me from coming anywhere close to hating this.