Sony // 2012 // 93 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Appellate Judge James A. Stewart // March 4th, 2012
"I cared for her, more than she knew. I wish I'd told her." -- Wyatt Earp
In 1907 San Francisco, Wyatt Earp (Val Kilmer, The Saint) is interviewed by a reporter for the Kansas City Star. The reporter wants to know why Earp and his allies -- Bat Masterson, Charlie Bassett, and Bill Tilghmann -- were presented with Colt revolvers. As old Earp tells the story, it unfolds on screen as Wyatt Earp's Revenge: after actress Dora Hand is shot by Spike Kenedy, young Earp (Shawn Roberts, Resident Evil: Afterlife) rounds up a posse.
Two things make Wyatt Earp's Revenge more than just a forgettable B-movie Western, and both are performances -- one large and one small.
The large performance is Daniel Booko's turn as the amoral Spike Kenedy. Take, for example, his stay at a family's ranch on the way to the Mexican border. At first, his reaction to the family's Christian hospitality seems, well, hospitable. Kenedy leaves his guns outside and even says "Grace" before dinner. By the time he's left, though, he's forced his attentions on the wife, taught the son to shoot over his parents' objections, and forced the father to play a sort of Russian roulette game (quite possibly with all chambers full), with fatal results. Booko subtly infuses every gesture with menace, making viewers uneasy with just the anticipation of his actions. At the same time, he comes across as believably human as his brother is shot. There's something nicely old-fashioned about relying on a character actor's performance, rather than making it as bloody as can be, and Booko makes that work.
The small performance is Wilson Bethel's brief appearance as "extraction" expert Doc Holliday, who seems to be enjoying the combined bullet removal and interrogation of a prisoner a little too much. His scenes could also make viewers uneasy, especially since they're the only really bloody scenes in the movie.
The trouble is these two character actors overshadow the posse, the purported heroes of the piece. You might even get these bland, interchangable actors mixed up.
Wyatt Earp's Revenge looks good, even treating viewers to the occasional sweeping Western panorama. The only extra is a brief featurette showing how much the actors liked saddling up for a Western.
Wyatt Earp's Revenge isn't a big movie; it was released directly to video. However, it will satisfy Western fans and could pique the interest of viewers who aren't used to saddling up in the easy chair.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Thai)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13