The Quick and the Dead Reviews
The whole film is kinda like a videogame concept really or like some modern flicks which bring together a bunch of stars in a kind of 'beat em up'/'shoot em up' style tournament with silly corny characters having individual skills that set them apart from each other, this is the western version.
Its a pretty fun flick to be sure but its also pretty corny at times with some dubious acting namely from Stone who really can't act, her blonde hair somehow gets her work. The characters are all quite unoriginal being a western, not much choice but the obvious, but admittedly your not sure who will die next. Hackman as usual is brilliant as the evil 'Herod' and you really wanna see him get his comeuppance haha he gives the film allot of edge which it badly needs as at times it does tend to feel a bit like a TV movie.
Raimi does well to inject fuel into the western genre with this (for the time) and the colourful characters are fun to watch despite being cliched, homage to Sergio Leone? sort of, a good try but maybe a touch too glossy and not enough blood.
Watchable,but not kissable.
The town of 'Redemption' holds an annual gunslinging contest (a strict local custom in which pistol-packers young and old, local and not, shoot to the death). Riding silently, moodily and mysteriously into town is, Ellen (Sharon Stone). A woman who keeps her motivation quiet, working her way into the contest with a score to settle against the town owner Herod (Gene Hackman).
Although this borrows heavily from the great Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood cowsers, it's playful use of the camera and refusal to take itself seriously gives it a fresh feel all it's own. Raimi's use of camera angles and slow motion shots are sublime and what really make the film. The camera is just as much a character as the eccentric bunch on screen. The focus being on the nervous eye-contact and elaborate ticking of clocks, in keeping with true spaghetti western style. It's a very stylish parody on the western showdown scenario helped by a who's who cast of ecclectic character actors, not to mention a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe at the beginning of their careers.
It's completely ludicrous but it's ludicrous nature and style is exactly what makes it fun.
Looking at the list of names it is evident that the casting director is very good at his/her job as they managed to catch several big names, get several stars who were a few years away from hitting big and also get veteran faces as well. The ensemble of well known faces suits this film as the focus is very much on style and appearance than it is on substance. As a plot it takes the well known genre of the revenge western and makes a sort of pastiche of it. Thus we have the OTT and hyper direction of Rami and gun fights that are delivered with energy and shots that have no bearing to reality.
When I think about the actual plot, it really should bother me more than it does. The plot is pretty thin and contains nothing that you can't see coming from about the first 20 minutes of the film ? certainly the woman's `secret' will be no mystery to anyone who has seen `Once Upon A Time In The West' which it clearly apes in this regard. What exists in the place of a wider plot is characters and style. The style is fun and energetic and will appeal to fans of Evil Dead etc.
The characters themselves are also pretty good, each has a little back story which helps to fill out the running time without getting too serious. Stone does surprisingly well in the lead, she's no Clint Eastwood but she leads the cast well ? which is no mean feat when you look at the credits. Hackman is a gleefully good villain ? even more mean and unrepentant that his character in Unforgiven. Crowe and DiCaprio were both a few years from the levels of stardom they now hold, but both are engaging and enjoyable. The support cast is also full of names and faces you'll recognise ? either as solid support actors of recent films or older faces. For example ? Henriksen, David, Sinise, Hingle, Bell and Blossom.
Overall this film might infuriate you if you are looking for a film that has more substance than style, as this is the other way round. However fans of Rami's style and/or revenge westerns will find much to enjoy here. Every time I see it I always find it hard not to get caught up in the atmosphere it creates.
it really is a good movie with good gun compatitions and a really good storyline!!
The world we were seeing was grim and dirty as it should be but the stylized nature of the film made it seem as though it were a world separate than ours. When outside everything was dowsed in a yellow hue and it really seemed that this town was the only thing in the whole world at that time.
The stylized feel went well with the shooting style. It was silly at times and a little cliche but it went well with the story that was being told.
There was some great acting put forth by Hackman and Crowe and I found myself wanting to see them more.
All in all it was a good story and it was filmed well but compared to westerns that were told with a more serious attitude it lacks a little in the end.