Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Evil Dead) directs Sharon Stone as The Lady, a deadly female gunslinger The Quick and the Dead. Sharon Stone enters a quick draw dueling competition in a small town run by Gene Hackman. Raimi directs an all-star cast and using every single cowboy movie cliché imaginable to create an original and entertaining period piece.
The Quick and the Dead pays homage to the early cinematic westerns that AMC used to show before they became a real TV network. They have the saloon and an evil sheriff and a hired gun and a reformed criminal and a trick shot expert and a clock tower and honor and redemption and revenge. But they also have a pretty diverse competition. There is an Indian, a black guy, a woman, a Swedish guy… pretty much anyone can enter if they want. And that’s nice and democratic.
There are a lot of stars in this movie. Some of them were still up-and-comers at the time, but some were established. Sharon Stone is the main character and Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Gary Sinise all play supporting roles. There are also a lot of character actors that you will recognize from a bunch of different movies.
It’s not the best western, but it doesn’t try to be. It is more of an homage to cowboy flicks than an attempt to be serious. It is very stylized, and there are a lot of elaborate sequences that are very distinctive of Raimi. You can recognize his style a mile away. It’s a B movie with a budget. It has heart. Being made with love makes it better than it is.
Critically Rated at 11/17