Tombstone

Tombstone ★★★★½

Tombstone was the last great pure western until the 2000's, the genre was on it's way out after it's requiem with Unforgiven, it really would've been the perfect full stop, but thankfully it got to go out in a big bold triumphant explosion of fun, bullets and moustaches. It's probably got one of the all time best ensemble casts of any genre let alone westerns, which in addition to making all the real historical figures feel important to the narrative, kind of adds to the big party vibe.

The cast really is amazing. What's crazy and adds to the timelessness of this film is you could round up every surviving and healthy cast member of this movie and make a western again today. Val Kilmer's career making performance is absolutely fantastic. The man is the MVP in an all time iconic cast, every line out of his mouth, is poetic gold. What I think gets unfairly forgotten is that Michael Biehn is such a perfect foil for Kilmer and totally brilliant in his own right. I guess no one remembers number 2 but it's a shame his drinking began to get the better of him around this time, between the two of them it's totally Biehn with the Batman presence here. Hell combine their characters, loyal to a fault lunger, and overly manly badass and you get Arthur Morgan.

Despite starring Kurt Russell, the movie kind of brilliantly restrains him for 80% of the runtime, trying to make his way as a business man. But eventually he gets pushed too far and the last act is Kurt looking like a preacher out of hell delivering an apocalyptic sermon.

George P Cosmatos was kind of a relic by this point, and the stripped down throwback nature of the movie gave it exactly the kind of authenticity that makes it so timeless. It's also got probably the unquestionably most iconic western score not to come from Ennio Morricone.

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