Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
A perfect night in with EE
Win £200 to spend on the perfect night in
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12
Cast
Kevin Costner
Dennis Quaid
Gene Hackman.
Directors
Lawrence Kasdan.
Screenwriters
Dan Gordon
Lawrence Kasdan.
Running Time
191 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Sixteen
3 Star Empire Rating
Broken Horses
3 Star Empire Rating
Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance
3 Star Empire Rating
Jauja
4 Star Empire Rating
Exit
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
EMPIRE ESSAY: When Harry Met Sally
5 Star Empire Rating

Wyatt Earp


submit to reddit


Plot
The life of wild west gunslinger Wyatt Earp - from boyhood to the fateful shootout at the Tombstone showdown.


Review
The theme for the old Wyatt Earp TV series went "Long may his fame, and long may his glory, and long may his story be told." This long they could never have imagined, as the latest film to tell the Earp legend proves a somewhat overblown business that falls some way short of being truly epic.

Lawrence Kasdan simply doesn't make bad movies, however, and this handsomely-mounted effort to wed authenticity to classic Western themes is honourably watchable, if unexciting for its first two hours. But it strives too hard to inflate vignettes into Big Moments and music swells under "significant" tableaux in an attempt to stir the senses as Kevin Costner's Earp strikes stolid poses like Scarlett O'Hara against pyrotechnic skies. Surprisingly it lets anticipated high-points like the gunfight at the O.K. Corral slip, reducing it to a (realistically, as it happens) scuffle in the street with baddies whose identities have never been established.

The screenplay, by Kasdan and Dan Gordon, begins in Wyatt's boyhood in the Civil War and jumps, with a variety of hair lengths for Costner, around the States through tragic first love, a youthful crime jag, and a spell slaughtering buffalo - Lt. Dunbar would be horrified! - to, eventually, his fabled career as a lawman in which Earp and his faithful crew of brothers and buddies acquire a merited reputation for brutality en route to their rendezvous with destiny and the Clanton gang in Tombstone.

We're an hour-and-a-half into the movie before Dennis Quaid materialises, marvellous as a gaunt, volatile Doc Holliday, dying of TB, but bringing the film to life. Indeed, alphabetically the credits promise a heck of a cast, but all of the characters are thinly sketched except Costner's Earp, with even Quaid under-used. Others - Gene Hackman as Pappa Earp, Isabella Rossellini as Doc's consort, Tom Sizemore as Bat Masterson - simply vanish, leading to the feeling that, despite its length, this has been mercilessly edited.

Most uncharacteristically from Kasdan there is a certain phoniness in the dialogue that frequently comes across as oration rather than conversation. Despite its length, the film is still confusing on salient details, and even the stoutest Costner fan's patience will be tested by Earp's in-need-of-redemption doings and family dynamics in the frankly tortuous third hour. Handsome to look at, and with some wonderful flourishes, this is by no means a disaster - just a disappointment from some of Hollywood's biggest talents.


Verdict
Tedious Western, that's a disappointment given the talent involved.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Wyatt Earp
Empire Star Rating

Would've made a fabulous mini-series.

It's a shame Costner didn't direct. He has a knack for this material. Open Range and of course Dances with Wolves are much better than this. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Cameron1975Williams at 20:14, 21 August 2014 | Report This Post


I think this is a very misunderstood movie.People say the film Is long and at 3 hours it is,so what,have to meet the mates at 6 in the pub? The thing is that 3 hours is probably still not long enough to tell this story.I heard that Kasdan is thinking of doing a 6 hour miniseries of this,and I think the difference will be like comparing the 2 hour version of Once upon a time in America to the 4 hour verion.I think the performances atre great,cinematography,sets,costumes are just beautifull and ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by rams at 14:04, 25 July 2006 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Fast & Furious 7 Review
We run the rule on the return of Toretto, Hobbs and co

Empire Meets Alison Brie
The Get Hard star on Ken Jeong, Toto and her favourite episode of Community

17 ‘What The?’ TV Cameos From Film Directors
From Spike Jonze as a music exec to Peter Bogdanovich as… himself?

Empire Meets Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
On A Second Chance, Game Of Thrones pranks and Headhunters' poo scene

The Secrets Behind 44 Classic Cinema Sound Effects
No really, the Ringwraiths are actually plastic cups...

The 30 Greatest Superhero Movies Of All Time
Empire readers pick their top super flicks

10 Videos Every Tom Hanks Fan Should Have Watched By Now
Of course, everyone in the world is a Tom Hanks fan…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)