Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Movie Review: The Quick and the Dead (1995)

The Quick and the Dead (1995) - USA - Western - Rated R
Directed by Sam Raimi
Starring Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobin Bell, Keith David, Lance Henriksen, Pat Hingle, Gary Sinise

A mix of spaghetti western and cartoonish action does not gel well but it is hard not to look.

A female, and sexy as hell, gunslinger enters a shooting contest in a small shanty town run by a corrupt mayor. She has a past agenda with this mayor who was, and still is, a criminal, that he does not know about while he has an agenda with a minister who used to ride with him as a criminal but has since mended his ways and given up gunfighting. The mayor has something to prove with the minister, a young gunslinger is out to get the respect of the mayor whom he believes is his father, and the woman is out to kill the mayor for a past criminal activity while the town is filled with gunslingers out to win a prize in a last man standing shooting contest.

For me the biggest failure of The Quick and the Dead was in trying to contemporize it into something more modern. It has a plot, barely, from any average spaghetti western, but then throw in gunfighting scenes and action that would be more at home in a cartoon, or perhaps in Army of Darkness or Evil Dead 2, and they do not fit well together. They are actually rather grating together as the story is dreary and tries to be serious while the absurd action has, for example, someone not realizing they've been shot until they see the sun shining a spot in their own shadow through the lethal buttlet hole in their chest.

Despite elements of this film being like fingernails on a chalkboard, they do successfully tell a somewhat compelling if basic story, and the action does keep the movie mostly moving enough to distract one from its flaws. It's kind of like a car wreck that you can't help looking at.

My Rating: 3 Fingers. I really can't recommend it, but it still is entertaining enough to pass the time.

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