Kurt Russell’s Wyatt Earp isn’t looking for trouble, but with the likes of Michael Biehn and Powers Boothe on the rampage in Tombstone, Arizona, he’s in the right place to find it.
Smartly putting the crucial shootout in the middle rather than at the end, this is a glorious new take on the old gunfight at the OK Corral saga.
Directed and performed with panache, the film gallops through that famous feud between the Earps and the Clantons. Russell’s hilarious first entrance into a Tombstone saloon puts a magnificently ruthless stamp on his role and from that moment the action and character conflict is non-stop.
Complete with a daft drawling accent, Val Kilmer excels as Doc Holliday, and his comical first duel (using a tin mug) with Biehn’s Johnny Ringo is a hoot.
Sam Elliott is rock-like as Virgil Earp, Bill Paxton thoughtfully fits the bill as Morgan Earp and, from their truly gargantuan moustaches to Robert Mitchum’s framing voice-over (not to mention a Charlton Heston cameo), it all works perfectly.