Tombstone ★★★½

I see this as an underrated modern western. It's not perfect, but it's lot of fun and better than I expected. It seems like Russell wanted to make a Western that evoked the feelings of the old films, but with a modern sensibility. He just about pulls it off.

What we have is a great cast (love the cameo by Heston!) and a good script. They take liberties with history, but for the sake of a movie, I can stand it. The movie tries to act cool like the westerns of old and, for the most part, it works. The film has swagger, no doubt about that, almost essential to a Western, but I feel that it forces some things through it's story - especially the romance between Wyatt and Josephine, and thusly Mattie's opium addiction. I know subtlety was never an adjective for Westerns, but this could've been handled with a less severe contrast (the emotional sequences between the three characters fall flat). Still, you gotta take Westerns as they are.

The performances are great, as one would expect with this cast, but Russell and Kilmer stand out. Russell gives a commanding, conflicted performance as Earp. It has a surprising amount of depth, something not normally seen from Russell (plus, he rocks the mustache!). Kilmer, on the other hand, plays Doc Holliday as the coolest man that ever walked the earth. You can tell when an actor is on their game, and Kilmer just has that extra "umph" with this character. The direction is great from the ghost that is Cosmatos (it's Russell who's directing), the cinematography accentuates the setting, and the music is finely tuned to the film.

More of a fun film than a great film. It's adequate for the most part, but has a few stand-out elements. And with that attention to detail in certain areas, it makes the film better than it should be.

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