This film feels like a throwback to the naive westerns of the 1950s and 60s, before the days of Unforgiven, when the streets of Dodge City were clean and tidy; when gunslingers fell with barely a drop of blood; and when actors had barely a day to learn their lines and spit them out. It's strangely unsophisticated, the kind of western it would be fine to watch sitting alongside three generations of family on Boxing Day. Maybe that's why it was filmed...
The action takes place in Earp's early life, and revolves around a tiny tale of a mistaken murder, lost love and a pointless posse. Val Kilmer plays a much old (and, ahem, substantial) Earp, narrating the tale to a young newspaperman some 30 years later. The events predate the famous Tombstone story (in which of course Kilmer played Doc Holliday with so much aplomb that an entire generation of young women started looking for consumptive surgeons to throw themselves at). In `Wyatt Earp's Revenge', Holliday is the only bright spark in an otherwise smothered campfire. He appears for one short scene, and then we're lumbered with the young (dull, wooden) Earp and his young (dull, wooden; wear different hats and coats so you can tell them apart) compatriots as they follow the trail of a Slightly Bad Man upon whom revenge must be taken. Cue lots of implausible shoot-outs, bad dialogue, unconvincing grimacing when shot. Blah. Oh, and a plot twist so obvious its existence was semaphored from the far side of the solar system, and which was wincingly awful when delivered.
A strange film. Would have been fine if it had been made 30 years ago. But now just feels like an overlong episode of Bonanza. Harmless, but not one worth keeping for repeated viewing.