TOMBSTONE is an interesting movie with fascinating
characterizations and a true story. It is about what happens before,
during, and mainly after the gun fight at the O. K. Coral. Detracting
with this is that the director (George P. Cosmatos), cinematographer
(William A. Fraker), writers (John Fusano and Kevin Jarre), and editors
(Harvey Rosenstock, Roberto Silvi, and Frank J. Urioste) made it like
a New Age Western or a modern Western opera without singing.
First, the good news. Wyatt Earp as played by Kurt Russell and
Doc. Holiday by Val Kilmer were wonderful. Everything they said and
even just their facial expressions were interesting. Unless you are a
real Western history buff, you probably do not know the story, and it
is fascinating. The short version is that this is about a Wyatt Earp
who wants to be a business entrepreneur with his brothers and get rich.
He gets sidetracked.
Now for the bad news. How about dialog like "are you going to
just stand there and bleed or you going to do something?" Nothing
however could beat the scene when two tough guys with guns get real
angry and end up trading five rounds of insults in Latin! Many of the
shooting scenes were at night with more lightning that I have seen in
my entire life. It had a constant strobe effect. And boy, did this
movie ever have music (Bruce Broughton, Frederic Chopin, and Camille
Saint-Saens). Dramatic violins were everywhere as were kettle drums,
hence my claim that this was an opera without singing.
TOMBSTONE runs overly long at 2:10. Being a typical bloody
Western it gets an R rating. The movie would be fine for teenagers. I
had a nice evening at the movies, so I give this flick ** 1/2 and a
Copyright © 1994 Steve Rhodes