The Quick and the Dead Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 20, 2006
A female gun slinger enters a quick draw tournament in her home town of Redemption to revenge herself against the outlaw who murdered her father. One of Sam Raimi's lesser known efforts, this is a fun comic-strip style horse opera that's more of a homage than a modern-day western in the mould of something like Unforgiven. It references High Noon, High Plains Drifter and everything in between with good turns from Sharon Stone as the woman with no name, Russell Crowe as a reformed gun slinger and a young Leonardo DeCaprio as the outlaw's upstart son. But this film belongs lock, stock and barrel to Gene Hackman's supremely hissable corrupt landowner who rules "his" town with an iron fist. An unpretentious, unfussy and stylish story of vengeance from the old school.
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2011
Remember when Sharon Stone was big? remember that? seems along time ago doesn't it, also seems odd to think it too with her rather bland boring 80's look. Bit of a cult this one with a fantastic line up of character actors and stars including DiCaprio, Hackman, Keith David, Henriksen, Tobin Bell, Pat Hingle, Gary Sinise, Russell Crowe and Bruce Campbell in deleted scenes!! how do ya like dem apples Tex?

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.
Super Reviewer
½ May 14, 2007
Gunslingers galore! A fun and spirited Western, about a duel tournament between an impressive array of charismatic characters. Worth seeing just for the extraordinary cast, which among many famous names includes Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Lance Henriksen and a very young Leonardo DiCaprio. In the lead we also follow a tough and gritty Sharon Stone, who unfortunately drags down the film a bit with a not-so-believable and bland performance. She also looks a tad misplaced in this sort of environment. It might have more to do with the fact that I've never been a fan of hers though. Another regrettable weakness is the direction. While adequate on the whole, there are choices in camera angles and visual style, that is less-than-gracefully executed. One of the trademarks of Western movies is that they often have great cinematography, but I suppose this was the exception that confirms the rule. The excitement that comes with the duels, as well as the wonderful supporting cast, makes it enjoyable nonetheless though. They even have a gunslinger from Sweden, although sadly he's one of the first to bite the dust of defeat.
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2006
Really fun Western flick by Sam Raimi. The wild camera angles and imaginatively filmed shootouts make for a really entertaining ride. Of course there are the expected stereotypes, but also plenty of surprises. The idea of a bunch of duels arranged like a tennis tournament is just fantastic and filled with really colorful characters. Gene Hackman is a wonderfully mean villain and Russel Crowe one of the coolest priests that ever walked the West. The themes of revenge, redemption and pride may not be all that new but the result is way too quick and fun to even bore you for a second.
Super Reviewer
½ March 26, 2007
Stone ins't great, but the rest of the supporting cast is (especially Lance Henriksen!). Definitely worth a watch if you're a fan of the genre. Plenty of gun fights to keep you entertained from start to finish.
Super Reviewer
August 4, 2006
A sort of modernised Western with an intriguing cast, possibly Gene Hackman stood out the most to me and played his role well. Having a woman in the contest obviously was the purpose of the film here and gave the genre something a little different.

Watchable,but not kissable.
Super Reviewer
½ June 21, 2011
There's no doubting director Sam Raimi when it comes to his playful nature. He managed to inject hilarity into horror in "The Evil Dead" series and does so again with the western. Not taking his material too seriously at all, here he delivers a cartoon take on the duelling western gunslingers.
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.
Super Reviewer
½ July 14, 2007
Raimi shoots for big iconic western but cannot get past ... Raimi.
Super Reviewer
February 21, 2008
I have never been a huge fan of Westerns but this movie was great. Leonardo DiCaprio brings an early yet powerful performance that is complimented by the strength and experience of Gene Hackman. A basic story that involves the viewer up to the very end!
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2011
Such a bizarre way of approaching the western genre. This is almost cartoonish in its delivery, but I think it was undoubtedly Sam Raimi's goal to have it so. Some of the camera angles and editing is just flat out crazy, but again, i'm sure that was intended. All the performances in this are really good and make the story flow a lot more easy than it could have. Everyone from Lance Henricksen to Sharon Stone play extremely memorable characters. The duels are very much the workings of a madman.
Super Reviewer
November 30, 2010
The first thing one must realize before watching The Quick And The Dead is that the era of the epic westerns is over. There are only two names that have perfected and mastered the genre, Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood. Theres a few good Westerns since Leone's masterworks, but most of them fail to have the character and the brutality of the old school Westerns. Sam Raimi's The Quick And The Dead plays out more like an homage to Sergio Leone, with many references from his works. Raimi crafts an amusing Western, but by no means is this film perfect. The plot could have used a bit more development and some characters are directly lifted from Leone's own films. For example, Sharon Stone's character is based on Harmonica from Once Upon A Time In The West, a man with no name setting his eyes on killing the man responsible for his brothers death. Despite every cliche in the book, The book, The Quick And The Dead is an enjoyable little film. Not excellent, but definitely not bad. Sam Raimi tries too hard at mimicking the epic Westerns of the 60's. The results are mixed, and the film ends up being average. Raimi's Western is cool but it's definitely not a Leone epic. Raimi tries too hard at crafting a good looking Western. The sets and characters are too clean for my taste. Except for a few exceptions. For what its worth, the film will entertain you, but it won't blow you away. The story is quite intriguing, but it's something that we've all seen before. The Quick Of The Dead is a good film, but definitely not the best Western. That honor befalls on Once Upon A Time In The West.
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2009
Westerns....a genre I actually haven't seen THAT many of, but I love most I have. Including this one. Excellent cast and movie up and down.
Super Reviewer
September 21, 2009
A modern classic? Give it time and it will be. For me, it?s probably Sam Raimi?s last decent film. Responsible for a surge in modern Westerns, it?s still the best of the new bunch!
Super Reviewer
June 16, 2009
In the Western town of Redemption John Herrod runs everything, they say he gets half of every dollar spent or earned. In order to face his enemies face on he runs an annual quick draw contest where fights battle each other until only one remains. The winner takes home a small fortune ? the losers leave wounded if they are lucky. Into this contest comes a group of hopefuls including a woman who has personal reasons for signing up.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2007
i like this good old western themed movie
it really is a good movie with good gun compatitions and a really good storyline!!
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2007
While I thought this was a good movie there were some things that kept it from being a great film. The characters were pretty cookie cutter and they were introduced as so. They were pretty plain but on some of them the story behind the character was more interesting than what we saw on screen.
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.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2007
Why didn't they make the movie about the Crowe character. Would have been better.
Super Reviewer
½ November 10, 2007
Modernised western with a good cast but not much content to movie.
Super Reviewer
½ October 18, 2007
Eh. Okay.
Super Reviewer
September 16, 2007
Seen enough of it to say I don't like it. A lot of the violence seems really contrived, with an Arnold-esque ending that will have you laughing more than trying to take it seriously.
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