1990s bracket rd. 2: tombstone

September 3, 2008

i was surprised at how laughably bad some of the moments are in both this and heat.  those unintentionally funny bits where a line of dialogue is so out of place, so ridiculous, that you can’t believe kurt russell just said that.  and there’s not just one of those moments.  they’re scattered through out the film, and take moments where i felt like was getting sucked into the story and just completely throwing me off.

i’d like to praise some things firstly though, and mainly i just want to say how good val kilmer was.  he was actually having fun with the role, and delivering lines in a way that kurt russell could never do.  he doesn’t let them hang out to dry but always seems to be in motion or active.  after seeing him just look ridiculous in heat, it was surprising to see him be the best thing in the film.

the plot felt a little all over the place to me.  we start out with them wanting to start a new life, now they’re sheriffs, now they are at war the cowboys….it just felt like they wanted too many plot points in the film.  and the whole kurt russell’s love life aspect to the film was just awful.  we get the film trying to be a hard nosed western with gruff language and violence, and then moments just dripping with cheese.  and why does kurt russell need to have a wife to begin with?  she literally serves no purpose in this film in my eyes (accept to annoy me every time she opens her mouth).

it felt very uneven, with long stretches of what felt like nothingness.  moments where the plot just remains stagnant and nothing the characters do move it forward or devulge information about themselves.  maybe i’m just remembering it that way because i was bored in parts, i don’t know.  but the film could have benefited greatly from better pacing.

a lot of the action is pretty entertaining on face value, but what i think the film tries to say about violence pretty much falls flat.  we get kurt russell trying to tell his brother that killing a man is not something you ever want to do, but ends up killing around 50 more by the end of the film.  it tries to have this message that violence as a response to violence just begets more violence, but it seems to revel in it by the end of the film.

kurt russell’s performance just seems really odd.  i don’t know if it’s the way he talks (he sounded like a 5 yr old school boy next to val kilmer), or just the way he carried himself, but it just didn’t feel authentic.  this guy is supposed to be one of the most famous law enforcement figures in our nations history and i didn’t buy it for a second.

what i thought were going to be two hallmark films of the 90s ended up being two pretty big disappointments with few highlights between them.


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