Doc Holliday: Make no mistake, it’s not revenge he’s after. It’s a reckonin’.
Dear Diary: Today I learned that the Wild West was wild because everyone was addicted to opiates. Cool.
Kevin claimed that he wanted me to watch Tombstone because it was his “favorite movie” and would be a great introduction to the western film world. Nope. I figured out about 25 minutes in that he wanted me to watch the movie because he’s insanely in love with Dana Delaney. It’s fine, I’ve known this for a while but I do not enjoy being misled.
For my first foray into Westerns (unless you count the 20 minutes I spent watching Butch Cassidy with my mom so she could check out Robert Redford), many people insisted that I begin with this movie. I can understand the reasons why some might think this is a good suggestion as it is a more modern take on a Western (I assume). There are also a million recognizable faces in this movie (JOHN LOCKE!), which always makes for a good time. But I definitely wondered if some of the attributes I noticed about this movie are typical of all Westerns.
I was expecting the silly music that I always saw portrayed in cartoonish versions of Westerns. I was expecting a ton of action, nearing the level of an action movie but with gun fights instead of gun fights AND explosives AND karate AND car chases. I was expecting a standard scene when a dude walks through a swinging door and the camera pans from his shoes to his face, and some piano player is banging out some really intense notes. I just assumed these were typical characterizations of a Western so I feel like I missed out a bit.
Parts of the the movie were slow and even dull at times. When I did some research and found out some of the difficulties behind the production of the movie (actor changes, a screenplay that was way too long, a rush to production), I was not surprised at all. I believer there was some character development and background information cut from the film that would have benefitted the movie (although making it way too long). I did not feel any connection to the Earp brothers at all, I thought Wyatt’s interaction with Josephine felt forced and made a little sense, and besides being on drugs WHY DOES EVERYONE WANT TO KILL EVERYONE ELSE. Sheesh.
I did not expect Val Kilmer to be so amazing in this movie as Doc Holliday– he was by far my favorite part of this movie. I didn’t hate his Southern accent and I loved how sweaty he was in every single scene (indeed, tuberculosis makes you grey and constantly dripping with perspiration). While I felt as though I was watching Kurt Russell or Bill Paxton or Sam Elliott play their characters, by the end of the movie I had forgotten that I was watching Val Kilmer. Also, Doc Holliday seems like the kind of guy you’d want on your side for several reasons: he’s loyal, good with a gun and he likes to party. I want to be his friend badly. Doc Holliday for President.
I know this movie sounds like a negative review, but between the quotability factor, Kilmer’s performance, and the “spot-the-actor” game I played, I actually enjoyed watching the movie. I’m just not sure it should have been my introduction to this genre. I suppose I should watch a few more films before I decide how I really feel about Westerns.
Face palm moment: For about 20 minutes I was freaking out over the actress who played Mattie Earp. Her face was incredibly familiar but I could not place it. After a long Google search, I figured it out– she was Laney from the baby shower episode, the party girl turned suburban mom, the ONE who stole Charlotte’s BABY NAME. UGH. I was pretty excited about this turn of events. That, plus John Corbett, tells me that Sex and the City was a Tombstone spinoff.
Favorite part: The part where Kevin said, “oh man, I’m glad the cowboys didn’t show up to our wedding.” He’s now calling it the original Red Wedding.
The “I missed that in pop culture trivia” moment:[NOTE: I mean, what a dick move.]
Regrettable tardiness scale (out of 10): 10/10, there are probably a billion quotes I hear daily that come from this movie. Context is important.
- Val Kilmer Recorded Doc Holliday’s Version Of I’m Alright Ma For Bob Dylan (contactmusic.com)
- The Wild West wide boy Wyatt Earp was the hero of the Gunfight at OK Corral (express.co.uk)
- Movie Review – Wyatt Earp (1994) (fernbyfilms.com)