Wow! What a bizarre film! Unfortunately the few funny moments there were were quite overshadowed by it's completely weird and random vibe throughout.
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Like the great film, it's made with a great deal of visible affection both in front of and behind the camera.
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The main selling-points of Young Guns are the incredibly compelling story of Billy the Kid and its very talented cast- actors like Kiefer Sutherland, Terrence Stamp and Jack Palance promises a lot. While it is a long way from flawless, this viewer did find themselves liking Young Guns a good deal.Young Guns does have its problems. The hard-rock soundtrack is incredibly jarring, can sound cheap and doesn't fit at all within the film, a lot of the film goes at a fast pace and the music sounded somewhat pedestrian at times. The storytelling does become a little less involving and quite ridiculous in the last third, where it also loses the momentum that the rest of the film has. Pacing is also a touch chaotic in places, and while he does what he can Charlie Sheen is badly wasted, his underwritten role doing little for his talents.However, Young Guns is a good-looking film, with handsome scenery, evocative costumes and some clever, stylish filming. The dialogue is very witty and funny, the film blisters in the action with a tense and exciting if rather far-fetched somewhat climactic shootout and while it does butcher history the story is compelling and goes at a breakneck pace. While it entertain in the comedy, excites in the action and rouses as a Western, there are some nice dramatic moments, Lou Diamond Phillips' scene where he tells of the slaughter of his family is the film's most heartfelt scene. The relationship between Billy and Doc is also very well done, providing a lot of heart and funny moments. . Christopher Cain's direction is crisp and efficient, his decision to do the action in first-person comes over more than effectively.Very good cast too, there have been mixed reactions to the performances quality, for me it was one of Young Guns' biggest strengths. There were initial reservations as to whether Emilio Estevez was too modern and too nice for Billy, but he is cool, fun and likable with a touch of sassiness in the role, and is closer in age to most other actors who have portrayed Billy. Kiefer Sutherland has one of the most strongest written characters in the film, and is remarkably poetic in this film, a pleasant change from the usual roles he takes on. Lou Diamond Phillips does overact quite broadly in places, but does mostly act with real soul and poignancy, especially in the aforementioned scene. Casey Siemaszko is also very affecting, when he overcomes his fear it came over very emotionally. Dermont Mulroney has some good intensity without going overboard, and he is very amusing as well. In lesser roles, Terrence Stamp is a sympathetically and touchingly played and tragic father-type of figure, and Jack Palance is perfectly cast as Murphy (a rather one-dimensional role but Palance does much with it, and is genuinely menacing without trying too hard. Brian Keith is memorable in his short appearance.Overall, not a flawless film in any shape or form and won't work for everybody but on its own terms it was a very entertaining film. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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Young Guns is one of my 'guilty pleasure' films. I don't know whether it's because I saw it as a young boy in the eighties and still have some nostalgia for it, or whether it's genuinely a good film. Either way... I love it.It tells the (loose!) story of Billy the Kid, Doc Hollywood and co as they evade both the good guys and the bad guys as they go on their rampage of revenge when a corrupt land baron kills their mentor. Is it factually accurate? Who cares! It's just such good fun! Maybe it's the loud, overblown rock music (which is probably a little out of place when dealing with a 'wild west' film) that makes everything so cool, or perhaps it's the overused slow motion technique whenever an important gun fight takes place. Then of course you have Emilio Estevez at the height of his eighties fame, playing a completely manic (yet strangely endearing) anti-hero who shoots first and bares his bottom later.I'm guessing that this is a guy's film; it has action, chases, rock music and slow motion. What more could a guy what when he has a beer in one hand and a sofa to sit it? Possibly a horse and a six-shooter, but the TV's remote control will have to suffice.http://thewrongtreemoviereviews.blogspot.co.uk/
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This western was obviously aimed at the teenage audience , but it's not a bad thing. It's actually a quite refreshing take. The main heroes are young and not certain of their actions . The movie does reminds sometimes a music video (the opening credits , the final shootout) and the rock guitar solos work really well as the soundtrack.Emilio Estevez ("Stakeout") , Charlie Sheen ("Major league") , Kiefer Sutherland ("The Lost boys") and Lou Diamond Philips ("Stand and deliver") all give nice performances. Their characters aren't really complex , pretty much one note , but they managed to make them likable and interesting. Estevez gets the most attention , since his Billy The Kid is the most interesting of them – irresponsible hothead , typical "shot first , then ask questions" guy. Sheen is a calm and religious guy , Sutherland is a mild mannered poet and Philips is a mysterious Indian. There are also two other characters played by Casey Siemaszko and Delmot Mulroney , but they aren't really interesting. Last , but not least there is a good performance by Jack Palance ("Batman") as the villain.This is pretty much a action movie , but also a story about friendship and loyalty. I think it's a little weaker than other westerns from the 80's like "Tom Horn" , "Pale rider" and "Silverado" . Still , it's a satisfying movie that might be enjoyable even by people who usually don't like westerns. I give it 6/10.
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I have not seen a lot of westerns so I don't pretend to be some expert on western movies. However this is without a doubt one of the best westerns of all-time and my favorite western of all-time. I know some people criticize this film for not being historically accurate or a shallow attempt to be a "hip" western. Well, the truth is this film is not 100% accurate with history but what movie is? I liked the idea of this being a hip western staring Hollywood's "brat pack" with rock music playing in the background. I think it fits because this is basically a story about Billy the kid, a outlaw who was under 20 years old so it makes sense to give this one a younger or hipper feel to it. I like the Billy the kid story and I've seen many movies about him but this is the best one for 3 reasons. 1: I liked that they started from the beginning, other films focus on the "later" years when he met Pat Garret. 2: I like that this is more about the gang and not just about Billy. 3: Emilio Estevez is the best Billy the kid. I think the story is very well done, it's the best depiction of the Lincoln county war in New Mexico and the changes made were for the better. Like in real life John Tunstall was only twenty something and their were about a dozen or so "regulaters" not just the 6 shown here but the changes made worked for the better. The film is well directed by Chris Cain with a great balance of action, humor and is appropriately violent. I also like the look of the film, it really makes you feel like their in the wild west during 1878 and not on some sound stage. It also has a great cast! With the great Terrance Stamp who's perfectly cast as John Tunstall, an older English man who takes in six young rebellious men to work at his cattle ranch. The villain is the always great Jack Palance as Murphy, who kills Tunstal, starting the war. The 6 young boys search for justice so they become sheriffs but thanks to Billy killing everyone who they're supposed to arrest, they become outlaws. I LOVE Emillio Estevez as Billy the Kid. I know many would say his interpretation is not historically accurate but I think it's much more the way we would like to imagine the kid. Emillio gives one of his best performances and he was cheated out of an Oscar nomination. I think they did a great job in blending a lot of color to the kid. Billy is a lot of things in this movie, he's cocky, rebellious, trigger-happy, a little crazy, a loyal friend, and charming. Billy is perfectly portrayed as an anti-hero like he should be. Emillio always makes him likable even if we know he's a little crazy. I do like how they make Billy a little crazy as he takes pleasure in killing his enemies. His kills are marked by his unforgettable giggle, I love Emillio's lunatic sounding laugh. Billy is fearless who enjoys the thrill of life or death situations. But despite his wild behavior he's extremely loyal to his friends which gives him a lot of heart. Kiefer Sutherland is great as the more sensitive "Doc", one of my favorite performances of his. I love Lou Diamond Phillips as Chavez Y Chavez, possibly his best role and I love his knife skills. Dermot Mulloney is great as "dirty" Steve and he has a lot of funny moments. Casey Siemasko is great as Charlie, the more scared one of the bunch. I love Charlie Sheen as Dick, the appointed leader of the gang. I like how he fought for leadership of the regulators with his real life brother Emillio as Billy. I like the name of the gang as "the regulators", that's a cool name. The film has non stop action, good humor, good characters and the theme of friendship works well here.I love the rock'n'roll theme music. I like that they show Emillio/Billy take the now famous Billy the kid picture as well. One of my favorite movies of all-time.