Costner's Earp is a 'deliberate' man, and Kasdan's big-budget over-long epic is deliberate to a fault. Depicting Wyatt's youth, his first, tragic marriage, and especially the stern injunctions of paterfamilias Hackman, this prologue is ponderous and predictable. Where Kasdan/ Costner insist on going back and crossing every 't', Eastwood might have conveyed the same information in the blinking of an eye. Costner creates a complex individual, but he's in virtually every scene, and one yearns for a less monotonous presence. There's a tremendous lift when Quaid's emaciated, debauched, wise-cracking Doc Hol-liday appears. Despite its longueurs, however, this is not a negligible movie. When Earp pins a badge on his pathology the picture begins to add up (the famous feud with the Clantons is tense and brutal); and when the Earp family falls apart, it's clear the mess is largely of Wyatt's making. Breathtakingly photographed by Owen Roizman, this serious picture slowly reveals the festering wounds at the at the heart of a key Western myth.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Lawrence Kasdan, Dan Gordon|