Tombstone ★★★★

I went into Tombstone mostly blind. I remember seeing that my dad owned it in his collection in the 90s, but I never had the desire to watch it… until now. This movie is pretty freaking good. The biggest thing it has going for it is it’s very watchable. I could see this being put on at any time and not being bothered by it. Did I love it? Almost, but no. I really liked it though.

First off, this movie has an absolute dream of a cast. It must be one of the best ensembles ever put together. My favorite performances were:
• Val Kilmer – Probably my favorite performance from him.
• Powers Boothe – If I’m being honest, I didn’t really know who he was prior to this movie (even though I’ve apparently seen him in three other movies). Boothe is magnetic here, stealing just about every scene he’s in. Now I know the origin of the “Well… Bye” gif, which is a lot more serious here than it’s use everywhere else.
• Stephen Lang – Speaking of scene stealing, Lang is the other “Cowboy” of note. He’s probably the most layered personality in the movie next to Boothe. He brought life to a character that probably wasn’t supposed to have much.

Secondly, I can’t help but feel this movie heavily inspired Red Dead Redemption 2. While RDR and RDR2 are some of the best narratives I’ve ever seen/played, watching Tombstone sheds light on the amount that was inspired and borrowed from to make those stories so great.

I really enjoyed Wyatt and co. taking ahold of the town and doing what needed to be done. Their takeover felt believable and was really cool to watch. Seeing that coupled with how the people of Tombstone interacted showed off a genuine wild west. I could see that in how the town lived and breathed.

What holds me back from loving it are some distractions in the form of overdramatic scenes (i.e. the cry in the rain scene), some situationally-poor dialogue, glossed over plot points (Wyatt’s wife on opium? Ok…), the pushing aside of every female character, a very rushed climax, lackluster final showdowns, and a certain hollowness that I can’t put my finger on. Maybe a second viewing would help rid the last part, but I really felt it was rather unconvincing in certain instances.

I don’t know how popular this movie is, but it seems like a movie that would play on repeat on cable channels. There’s a lot to like and it feels rather universal (although very male-centric). It’s about camaraderie and legacy more than anything and I really liked it.

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