There is so much that is wrong with Quick And The Dead that it is easy to miss all the stuff that is good about the movie. Getting the bad out of the way first – the direction is pedestrian at best, the story about as predictable as you could imagine, the staging and execution (pardon the pun partner) is hokey and the climax is ridiculous. Amid so much going wrong it is hard to miss the things that make this movie worth your time as a viewer.
The good is primarily in the form of the performances by a gifted cast given precious little to work with. Of particular note is the over the top yet convincing Leonardo DiCaprio as Fee "The Kid" Herod who is not only a gunslinger but also the town gunsmith and the son of John Herod who owns the town and runs the competition every year. The idea behind the competition makes sense if only in a twisted kind of way. Technically John Herod is the only law in Redemption and it only makes sense for him to bring together everyone might who might be a threat to him and have them all kill each other off in an effort to win a huge pot of money and of course killing John Herod is a bonus.
Into this mess rides Ellen (The Lady) a mysterious woman who is bent on avenging her family’s death at the hands of John Herod. The set up and the progression of the story are all too familiar and handled ineptly in a genre where skill and good story telling have been the hallmarks. What there is new in this movie are the lightning fast jump cuts, the follow the bullet camera work and the seeming belief on the part of the director that if you move fast enough the story will take care of itself.
Quick And The Dead is lots of sound and fury that ultimately delivers nothing.