The Quick And The Dead (1995)

Rating: ****
Director: Sam Raimi
Music: Alan Silvestri
Cast: Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Pat Hingle, Lance Henrikson

Wow... Sharon Stone CAN act. I put off watching this film for a long time because both Sam Raimi and Sharon Stone had previously left a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn't until after reading an enthusiastic article in "She" magazine that I finally decided to check it out, and I was immensely surprised by how good it is. It's a simple revenge story featuring a rough and sexy Sharon Stone as a gunslinger who has come to the town of Redemption to kill Gene Hackman, the man who murdered her father when she was a little girl. Hackman organizes an annual shooting contest in order to weed out his competition, and the entire film is one gunfight after another. The pace is rather plodding, but the narrative is consistently powerful and gripping. Beautifully filmed with a killer score, the movie is full of crazy over-the-top characters and has a refreshingly quirky modern feel. Sharon Stone delivers a stunning and emotionally turbulent performance as a rough and tough bitch, desperately struggling to hold onto her humanity while trying to suppress her feelings and womanhood at the same time. She looks great, and her intensity and complexity makes her very convincing. Quite simply, she rocks. Hackman, Crowe, and DiCaprio also turn in strong performances. Sam Raimi has definitely delivered the goods this time.