(1988)2Dan FriedmanSunset builds its fictional story around a real-life relationship - the friendship that developed between sheriff Wyatt Earp and western screen star Tom Mix in 1920s Hollywood. History records that the two became acquainted on Tinseltown movie sets, and that Mix served as pallbearer at Earp's funeral. In this feature - co-scripted by director Blake Edwards and Rod Amateau -- Bruce Willis and James Garner are Mix and Earp (respectively), and together they get involved in a murder mystery surrounding the family of Alfie Alperin, a Chaplin-like movie mogul played smarmily by Malcolm McDowell. As good an overall foundation as this is, the film doesn't really deliver the goods. Most of this is because while the premise is clearly defined, the characters aren't. Considering these are actual historical figures, that's a bad sign. Edwards plays upon the "did it really happen or didn't it" aspect of the story a bit too much and loses focus. Willis seems to be going through the motions as Mix, and while he has some amusing moments he's overshadowed by Garner, who brings a genuine earnestness to his role as Earp. The plot is complicated and the exposition is handled rather clumsily. Alperin's son, Michael (Dermot Mulroney), is involved in foul play and his mother has asked Earp to investigate, unbeknownst to her husband. There's a former relationship between Earp and Mrs. Alperin that is never fully taken anywhere, and Edwards tries to insert a few winks to Hollywood history that fall flat. Overall, the film isn't sure whether it's a drama with some comedic elements or a comedy with dramatic elements, and that indecisiveness is too easily apparent.