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Young Guns Review

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by Phil Hinton Apr 1, 2003 at 12:00 AM

    Young Guns Review
    The Year is 1878, Lincoln County. John Tunstall, a British ranch owner hires young outlaws to protect his farm against the ruthless Santa Fe Ring. When Tunstall is killed in an ambush, the six young men calling themselves “The Regulators”, led by the wild tempered Billy the Kid (Estevez), declare war on the ring. Sworn in as constables and given 11 warrants to expose the political conspiracy, their quest turns into a bloody rampage. Branded outlaws themselves, they become the objects of the largest manhunt in western history.

    Released in 1988, and starring the young brat pack actors of the period, Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips and Charlie Sheen to name but four, Young Guns commanded a huge box office on its release and later spawned the sequel Young Guns II in 1990. The film is aimed squarely at the teenage market of the time, but in all honesty, apart from some misplaced 80's synthesiser music, the movie stands up well by today's standards. The screenplay is historically correct, and does its best to remain so throughout, telling the tale of Billy The Kid as factually as possible, given that it is aimed at the younger demographic. It was the pinnacle of Sutherland and Estevez's careers, and both give good acting accounts of themselves. The movie is well paced and not overly long, with events leading to a dramatic conclusion, you know is coming, yet is still satisfying and tense.