The Quick and the Dead (1995)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Revisionist Western  |   Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - Belgium, Japan, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Mike DiBella

Sam Raimi's hyper-stylized contemporary Western is a delightful diversion. While the cult director has taken hits for his style-over-substance format, this film boasts a taut storyline and a number of interestingly sketched characters, brought to life by the likes of Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, and cult favorites Keith David and Lance Henriksen. Though his absurdist tendencies have been frowned upon in purist cinematic circles, here this proclivity makes Raimi a singular director. Tackling the Western genre in an offbeat manner may have offended the Hollywood hard-line, but it proves a sure-fire formula for creating entertainment value, with Raimi's comical treatment of blood-and-gut gore reflecting a modern American desensitization towards violence. Overall, this is a superbly crafted picture with some very excusable flaws and will surely satisfy fans of Raimi's over-the-top technique; though no Evil Dead, the director's cryptic, quirky tone persists in making this an infectiously fun film to watch.