Cain doesn't so much tip his hat to the Western as thumb his nose affectionately. The plot is a pastiche of the Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid legends, with a smattering of The Magnificent Seven, all wrapped up in the silliness of Bonanza. Stamp plays John Tunstall, an educated English gent with a dubious fondness for the youthful tearaways he hires as 'regulators' to guard his ranch, where new recruit Estevez is introduced to a life of cattle lassoing by day and poetry reading by night. If Stamp's namby-pamby ways endear him to his young charges, they don't go down too well with the wild and woolly townsfolk (led by Palance), who eventually shoot him down. What follows, as Estevez (Billy) and Sutherland (Doc Scurlock) lead the gang (including Sheen and Phillips) in a vengeful chase that culminates in a classic shootout, is a mixed homage to the craggy Arizona landscape and the pert boyishness of the bratpack cast. Little more than a flawed romp, but energetic and enjoyable, with sterling performances from Sutherland and Estevez.
Cast and crew
Lou Diamond Phillips