Sharon Stone as a lonely gunslinger in a western, could The Quick and the Dead be any more of a nineties movie? All joking aside, this is a very entertaining and stylish movie. Which is not surprising when you hear that the director is none other than Sam Raimi. He’s the guy behind some of the cult classics of the eighties and nineties like The Evil Dead or Spider-Man. In this movie, he toys with the western genre and familiar characters by cranking them up to 75. Not 100 but 75.
The Quick and the Dead features everything you would want from a western movie. A town suffering under a ruthless gang, larger-than-life characters, cool action scenes and a lot of suspense. The camerawork and the cinematography are flawless leaving an impression of a huge movie despite the small setting. On top of all of this, we’ve got the whole deadly tournament thing carefully integrated with the story of revenge and redemption. And the cast is simply phenomenal.
Sharon Stone was excellent here, proving her range and skills along with the star of the show Gene Hackman. He reveled in his bad guy role and gave one hell of a performance. However, the list doesn’t stop there as the supporting cast was just as strong. We’ve got Russell Crowe, Lance Henriksen and motherfucking Leonardo DiCaprio! Despite the sometimes silly dialogue all of them delivered, fully immersing themselves in their respective roles.
A lonely rider enters a small town firmly in the hands of a local kingpin Herod. He collects his taxes and ruthlessly disposes of anyone who questions his dominance. However, once a year, he runs a last-man-standing tournament. The prize is huge and the tournament also offers an opportunity to duel with Herod. Only he’s won every last one of them as he’s one of the fastest gunslingers in the West. Maybe this one will be different.
Right from the opening scene, The Quick and the Dead sets the tone for what’s about to follow. It belongs to a string of refreshing nineties westerns like Maverick and Last Man Standing. Although the latter is actually taking place during the Prohibition era. The shootouts are very exciting and there will also be some big explosions too. The only thing I found a bit tedious were the forced moral choices. You know what I’m talking about, that thing where a good guy doesn’t want to kill someone but is forced to.
Other than that, this movie was a lot of fun. And it also reignited my passion for the genre. If you’re looking for similar movies, do check out our Rabbit Reviews selection of Western movies. And you can also take a look at Robert Rodriguez’s Mexico trilogy, starting with a less-known El Mariachi, continuing with Desperado and finishing with Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Simon Moore
Cast: Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Keith David, Lance Henriksen
Fun Facts: In one of the scenes, Gene Hackman slaps Sharon Stone. Her reaction is genuine as the slap wasn’t in the script.