Wyatt Earp is a fascinating ride to a West where darkness and heroism mingle, a triumph for Kasdan, Costner, Quaid and the company. It shows how, in this frontier crucible, love and death, honor and slaughter, friendship and a walk toward doom, are all linked together as well. [24 Jun 1994, p.F]
Wyatt Earp's attempts to cover so many years lead to too many scenes with little emotional power. The film doesn't shoot blanks, and it is better than Tombstone, but, considering the names involved, a little disappointment isn't out of the question.
Yet a film that tries so hard to offer intelligent entertainment too often forgets to entertain. The famous showdown in Tombstone...one of the most famous scenes in all of Western legend is anti-climactic.
Do we at least perk up during the ol' gunfight at the O.K. Corral, or the vacant lot at Fremont Street, or wherever the hell it did take place? Sorry. Kasdan never was an action director, and he clearly hasn't gone to school for this flick. Bang, bang, I'm dead, you're not, next scene - I've seen livelier shoot-outs at a soccer match. [24 Jun 1994, p.D1]
Wyatt Earp drones past its logical conclusion, which is, of course, the great shoot-out. Since Earp's life uninstructively limped along after that event, so must the movie, further abusing our overtaxed patience and undertaxed intelligence.