Young Guns

McSween: “I'm not leaving my house.”
Billy: “If you stay they're gonna kill you. And then I'm gonna have to to go around and kill all the guys who killed you. That's a lot of killing.”

release year: 1988
genre: western
viewing setting: home Bluray 6/14/17 and home DVD, 1/20/13 and 11/22/01

synopsis: Billy the Kid leads other young cowboys on a bold and often reckless revenge spree.

impressions: Entertaining, good show of bravado and utter foolishness in the face of death. It also hammered home the importance of sticking by your friends and doing what's right. With the exception of a short, angry speech by one character, there was nothing too deep here, just lots of setups for gunfights, chases, ambushes, and revenge. The good guys were all young kids, not grizzled veterans like Clint Eastwood tended to play. The events in this movie were loosely based on real-life events in the 1870s.

acting: Emilio Estevez works hard to portray a reckless (I can't use that word enough) and often stupid Billy the Kid. Of the other protagonists, only Lou Diamond Phillips (as a knife-throwing half-Indian) and Kiefer Sutherland (as a doctor/poet who doesn't want to fight anyone) stood out. Jack Palance did a good job as the head evil rancher, as did Terence Stamp as a migrated Englishman who wants to help stray teenagers.

final word: Entertaining, if often insane. Worth seeing at least once just for its differences.

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