Young Guns is a lame attempt at a brat pack Wild Bunch, executed without style or feel for the genre.

Meager efforts at offbeat characterization are made at the outset, as British gang ring-leader Terence Stamp seeks to better the lot of his renegade boys by encouraging them to read and call each other ‘gentlemen.’

Stamp’s early murder by town bigshots prompts quick retaliation by the trigger-happy kids, who are briefly deputized but whose irresponsibility and inclination toward gunplay brands them as outlaws and sets in motion an irreversible chain of violence that inevitably leads to a fateful confrontation.

What this film has that few, if any, Westerns ever have had before is a hard rock score. Music’s every appearance on the scene throws one right out of the scene and serves to remind that this is a high-tech artifact of the late 1980s.

As Billy the Kid, Emilio Estevez is the nominal star here, but no one really shines.

Young Guns

  • Production: Morgan Creek. Director Christopher Cain; Producer Joe Roth, Christopher Cain; Screenplay John Fusco; Camera Dean Semler; Editor Jack Hofstra; Music Anthony Marinelli, Brian Banks; Art Director Jane Musky
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 107 MIN.
  • With: Emilio Estevez Kiefer Sutherland Lou Diamond Phillips Charlie Sheen Jack Palance Terence Stamp