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Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.09%
Worth A Look: 8.7%
Just Average: 13.04%
Pretty Crappy: 4.35%

1 review, 17 user ratings

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Wyatt Earp
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by Slyder

"The Bottom Of The Downward Spiral: The Costner/Kasdan Decadence Part 2"
1 stars

One has to feel sorry for both the careers of Kevin Costner and Lawrence Kasdan, since back then in the early 90’s, when they joined forces; everyone thought they were going to be the biggest thing since the teaming of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Sadly, how wrong they would be and how wrong I was. After the shitty disaster of The Bodyguard, I thought maybe it was because it was one of Kasdan’s older and “unpolished” scripts, and also because Mick Jackson was directing, but now, unfortunately, my fears came true yesterday evening. Wyatt Earp has to be the most abhorrent, overindulgent and utterly pretentious sack of horseshit I’ve ever witnessed. No words can express the excruciating pain that I had to withstand for 3 FUCKING HOURS!!! I can’t believe a director like Lawrence Kasdan came up with a crapfest like this. And Kevin Costner, Gees us, it seems that he forgot totally about acting. The decadence has reached its second and last phase, and now, it’s devastating that it ever was before.

What is it that we know about Wyatt Earp? Only that he’s the dark hero of the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral. From what I’ve read and heard, it seems that that was the only highpoint in his life. But hey, Kasdan decided to go deeper than the legend says, and give us the tale of the man behind those guns, the man behind that cold look. From a man like Lawrence Kasdan, who could resist that? His talent has already been proven with classics like Body Heat, The Accidental Tourist, The Big Chill and Grand Canyon, so why not take a stab at it? If only.

Wyatt Earp (Costner) was born to Judge Nicholas Earp (Gene Hackman), and soon our young Wyatt is taught about the importance of blood, and how blood is what keeps a family together. Something that Wyatt would live on for the rest of his life, though the way the movie depicts that moment is pretty dry. Then we move 7 years later, when our Wyatt is older, and has found finally the love of his life in Urilla Sutherland (Anabeth Gish), though we don’t know ANYTHING about this gal or why they fell in love, other than the fact that she comes from respectable parents and that Wyatt visits her 3 times in 3 years or something like that. Anyways they marry and just as she’s about to have a child, she dies of typhoid. Our hero completely devastated becomes a drunkard, burns his house down and steals a horse from somebody for which he’s thrown in jail. But hey, here comes Judge Earp to the rescue, and tells him to run away and never come back. So now he becomes a buffalo hunter, and there he meets two wannabes, Ed (Bill Pullman) and Bartholomew “Bat” Masterson (Tom Sizemore) who will turn out to be his sidekicks. Then after that, he stops a gunfight in Dodge City and he becomes a Deputy Marshall, and then after that his career as a lawman starts. In the days ahead he cleans up Dodge City and also meets Doc Holliday (Dennis Quaid), whom becomes a fast friend. And then he’s tired of becoming a lawman and goes to Tombstone to try and make a living. And then… ah fuck it. If you've seen Tombstone, you know the rest.

Gosh, that was tiresome to write. After reading what I wrote above, you’re probably expecting more fluid out of the movie, since you know, words are pretty straightforward. But then you're given the surprise that the movie IS totally straightforward like it was taken out of a mini-biography in the dictionary. In the first hour and a half, there is pretty much no new ground that this movie breaks, attempts to break, or tries expand in the biographical side of the story, and instead it’s nothing more than a formulaic rehash of stuff that we already know about our hero, making it dull and boring all the way to hell. We’re supposed to feel something for Wyatt once he passes though his triumphs and tragedies, yet here we are, completely bored out of our minds by some guy who just runs around the country and doesn’t do anything else but just run around and shoot a couple of people and buffalos. Maybe I’m being a little too pessimistic, but seriously, the way the movie tells the story of Wyatt at is just totally flat and straightforward, with no particular or important insights therefore making the story a very boring and tedious one.

But the problem is not totally within the story itself (Which I find hard to believe that Kasdan wrote this, since it reads like a draft of a University wannabe in his first year screenwriting) but it’s also the way that Kasdan presents it. His directorial skills and his sense of creativity are completely numb. He doesn’t bring any creativity or emotional effect or any ounce of clarity to any of the scenes in the film. Sure, there’s some adequate grittiness and authenticity thanks to Owen Roizman's cinematography, but other than that it’s flat all over, and the results just pile up the boredom. The entire first half of the story up to his promotion as Sheriff of Dodge City would’ve been told in 30 minutes, but Kasdan overdoes it excessively, since there’s lots of space but almost nothing to fill it making it a flat and awful exercise in pretension and self indulgence. There's absolutely zero development in the supporting characters, making them completely flat and uninteresting; a crucial error since they would've helped carry the story through the overwhelmingly sluggish parts but instead piles on the bore even more. I just wanted to kill myself during the first half of the movie. Oh, and Costner’s performance wasn’t anything of inspiration either. I’ll get to that later.

With lots of doubts and pain, I inserted the second tape to watch the second half, which resumes the Earp’s lives in Tombstone, oh yeah, I forgot, three brothers, Virgil (Michael Madsen), James (David Andrews) and Morgan (Linden Ashby), and now, we get ready for the shootout at the OK Corral. Finally Kasdan remembers how to direct and soon starts (with great pains I must say) building the suspense for the climaxing part. But honestly, do you think that after 1 ½ hours of insufferable bore, everything will soon be remedied? Not all of it. While we wait for the inevitable gunfight… we have to fucking wait AGAIN because we have to get into all types of shit in Wyatt's life at the speed of a snail's pace which made this fucking drek even more un-watchable. Earp’s relationship with his drug-addict wife and his prostitute lover-soon-to-be-wife is amusing yet suicide inducing. The first one being nothing but the usual clichéd rambles of infidelity and why they hate each other, while the second one we hear the usual sugar-coated crap of how much they love each other. To make matters worse, both also have zero chemistry with Wyatt.

Finally, after so much wait, the shootout comes, and finally we’re going to get to see some real action.

...If only.

That, has to be the lamest shootout I’ve ever seen in a long while. After all the build-up that the film was trying to boost, the outcome was as exciting as watching paint dry. The later action scenes following the shootout are simply done by the numbers; completely uninspired and without any emotion (when Wyatt avenges his brother Virgil's death at the train station, it's carried out in the most flat and boring of sequences) and even without a firm grip on reality! Just check another supposed climatic shootout scene in which Wyatt runs out of ammo, a bad guy at practically point blank range keeps on shooting, missing every single time, and while all this is happening, Wyatt runs to his horse, pulls his shotgun and blows the fucker away; and he NEVER got shot, eventhough the baddie was like 5 feet away! The whole thing just kept going like this, pretending to still have a further grasp of an interesting storyline up its sleeve... until it simply STOPS, and gives out a groaning and downright shitty ending in which basically left the entire premise hanging out in the air to rot and making my experience of this film a disgusting and fucky one. WHAT THE HELL IS IT WITH YOU LAWRENCE???!!! Did you forget how to write a script AND direct? For God’s sake, this is the worst Lawrence Kasdan film I’ve ever seen in my life, and I still can’t believe he is the one that came up with such an atrocity of a film as this one.

Kevin Costner, gosh, the guy is a fucking tree here. He has no emotion whatsoever, and doesn’t even put a single piece of effort into his character, and since he is the main character, he stiffs up and fucks up the entire film. Just check out the Dodge City scene; he shoots his gun and yells: “I’m Wyatt Earp,” and the way he says it, plus his facial expression, is just the stuff for laughs. He seems to be only reciting his lines rather than impersonating his character and doesn't bring an ounce of depth into what supposedly is a very complex character. It’s the worst acting I’ve seen from Kevin Costner ever since, and for the look of how things went for him in the past 8 years it only got worse and worse and worse.

The rest of the cast is wasted; Michael Madsen seems lost in the film so does David Andrews and Linden Ashby. Isabella Rosselini is given nothing to do other than to just act bitchy and don't start with me about what the hell was James Caviezel and Mark Harmon doing there. The only one that seems to be having a fun time is Dennis Quaid as Doc Holliday, and in fact, he’s the best of the entire cast. Unfortunately, Quaid’s performance isn’t enough to save this utter monstrosity of a film not to mention the fact that Quaid can't hold a bag of shit compared to Val Kilmer in Tombstone. And what the hell is Gene Hackman doing here, even more as the third actor in the star bill? He only lasts 30 minutes for fuck’s sake, and you can tell he just wants to cash his paycheck as soon as possible.

In the end, was there ANYTHING good in this film? Other than the cinematography, this film bites it, and it bites it hard. Arguably the worst western ever made, DO NOT, by any circumstances watch this bullshit of a movie! It’s not worth your time or your money. I rather go see Tombstone or any other Western flick than to watch this abominable shithole of a movie. This movie pretty much ended the careers of Kevin Costner and Lawrence Kasdan. Costner would continue further down the spiral of trash film decadence. Kasdan, deeply wounded, retired for 5 years, until he appeared in 2001 with the critically acclaimed but commercially ignored Mumford. Gosh I have never felt so much pain and desire to kill myself since Deep Impact, and silly me, I never thought this shitty movie would be as shitty as it ended up to be. Unquestionably the WORST and most BORING film I've ever seen and probably the worst ever made. 0-5

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6005&reviewer=235
originally posted: 07/12/02 18:31:22
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User Comments

2/02/11 Joseph J Clancy Jr. Excellent 5 stars
12/19/06 David Cohen think more Costner is better? Costner obviously does. Once again, he is wrong 1 stars
11/18/06 Neal Barton I loved it 5 stars
10/07/05 Klondo *sigh* so much Costner bashing. You're all so lame. 3 stars
8/18/05 ES Plodding would be a compliment to a movie that gets no where fast = watch tombstone 1 stars
7/11/05 Indrid Cold Story is lame and far too long. Nice atmosphere and look though. 3 stars
5/26/04 Kevin Farkas Poorly paced but beautifully shot & well acted 4 stars
5/19/04 homer J. simpson A montrosity full of shit 1 stars
5/01/04 mike tombstone is a better action movie this movie was great becouse its about him and his lifel 5 stars
4/20/04 Sara worse than a colonoscopy with no anesthesia 1 stars
1/21/04 Abe Giesbrecht Not a "Hollywood Western" like Tombstone, good gritty western 5 stars
12/27/03 Allan Larsen Critic dont know a shit about a good story 5 stars
11/29/03 john too long and heavyhanded and yes Tombstone is better but stilla decent movie 3 stars
3/23/03 Jack Sommersby An epic bore of catastrophic proportions. Arid and joyless. 1 stars
9/23/02 mark great 5 stars
7/11/02 KMG This movie is pretty decent...not as bad as Tatum said. 4 stars
7/11/02 Charles Tatum Long and dull, rent "Tombstone" instead 2 stars
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  24-Jun-1994 (PG-13)
  DVD: 02-May-2006



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