Tombstone ★★★

I've made this point in previous reviews but western's aren't usually my thing. The older films just come from an era of cinema that we don't really have any relation to any more; they hold no contemporary cultural significance. Kids don't play cowboys and indians any more. The TV isn't filled with black and white variety shows set inside barns with muel jokes abound. John Wayne isn't in every other film released. All that stuff that was big in the 40-50's that came along with the influx of wild west films.

Although in saying that there are a handful that I enjoy - not including Spaghetti Westerns which I think don't really count. I'm taking nothing away from some of the more technically accomplished films of that type either. I just think we don't have that frame of reference any more; particularly here in the UK.

Tombstone is a film that often gets bandied about as the type to prove me wrong. A more modern western (although made 20 years ago!) that shows the genre still has some like and relevance in it. But honestly, I thought this was pretty naff for the most part.

Sure there are some cool bits - it does, after all, feature Kurt Russell as the notorious Wyatt Earp! For my money, it's Val Kilmer that stands out the most as Doc Holliday, mind you. Genuinely charismatic and plays his part as the smooth talking gunslinger perfectly. It also starts off very strongly, getting your teeth right into who the good guys are and who the baddies are quickly and establishing your interest in them. But it seemed to go on for ages, and the longer it went on, the more dramatically the fall in quality.

I doubt I'll ever watch it again. It hasn't changed my opinion on western's as a genre either, but I will keep scrabbling around for more of them in the hope that one day I'll find one that just "clicks" for me.

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