Ellen (Sharon Stone) arrives in the Old West town of Redemption seeking revenge for the murder of her sheriff father (Gary Sinise) years ago by the town’s tyrant, John Herod (Gene Hackman), a ruthless gunfighter intent on rattling the people by staging a dueling contest. Meanwhile, Herod’s former chum, Cort (Russell Crowe), and son, “the Kid” (Leonardo DiCaprio), are forced to join the competition. Sam Raimi directs.
Rating: 5 out of 10
“The Quick and the Dead” is a piece of crap script with a fantastic director. It goes to show you how far a great visual style can take you.
It’s certainly not a typical Western. In fact, it almost reminded me of what would happen if you toned down “Army of Darkness,” took out the demons, and set it in the old west. The signature Sam Raimi over-the-top action is here and it’s the best part of the film. The gunfights are suspenseful and well edited. Also, the cast is great. Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Russull Crowe are all here. They each have a unique personality and bring something to the film. But, the script I mentioned earlier doesn’t do them any favors. The DiCaprio-Hackman father-son angle is stupid. It adds nothing to the story because it’s never developed and they have almost no interactions. Also, Russell Crowe’s past is mentioned but never explored. We’re told he was a horrible man who found God. Why couldn’t there have been some flashback? Speaking of interesting, Sharon Stone’s character is well acted but it’s supposed to be the lead and it’s the least interesting angle. It’s typical “You killed my Dad so I’m going to get revenge” stuff. It leads to an ending that was predictable fluff.
At the end of the day, an A-list cast and an A-list director can’t save you from an F-script.