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Film / Young Guns II

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The 1990 sequel to Young Guns.

After Doc and Chavez are captured by law enforcement and set to be executed, Billy springs back into action to rescue them before the trio head south to Mexico. Just after they escape, a local cattle baron who was wronged by the group pays one of Billy's former partners, Pat Garrett, to hunt and kill him, setting off an explosive series of confrontations.

This sequel has examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Billy uses a rifle loaded with eighteen dimes instead of bullets to dispatch a bounty hunter.
    Billy: That was the best dollar-eighty I ever spent.
  • Anyone Can Die: To the extent that the number of major characters who survive to the end of the film can be counted on one hand.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • The character "William Henry French" is a composite of two real life members of the Regulators (Jim French and Henry Brown), though he bears little resemblance to either one of them.
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    • Doc and Chavez both die in the movie. In real life, both of them survived their exploits with Billy the Kid and went on to live full lives, both passing away from natural causes in the 1920s. Chavez died in 1924 at age 73, while Doc died in 1929 at 80. Oddly enough, the end of the first movie actually gets it right, explaining what they both went on to do after the Lincoln County War, but the sequel decides to change course and kill them off for some inexplicable reason.
    • Also, rather than be famously shot dead by Pat Garrett, Billy's portrayed as surviving to old age by faking his death (though the first film accurately says what happened to him, aside from his supposed dying note reading "Pals"). This is based on the real life case of "Brushy" Bill Roberts, an old cowboy who claimed to be Billy the Kid shortly before his death in 1950.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: How the film ends. Billy is still alive as an old man, but laments how many of his friends are dead and gone, and how he only has scars and his memories to show for it.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Pat Garrett has an establishing moment when he finds a helpless enemy who says he knows him. After Garrett asks what the man's name is, he identifies himself as "Travers, from Tula Rosa". After Garrett thinks about this for a moment, he admits he has no idea who the man is and coldly executes him.
  • Dead Star Walking: Doc (Kiefer Sutherland), who dies before the halfway point of the film.
  • Death by Adaptation: Doc Scurlock (who died of natural causes in real life) takes Charlie Bowdre's historical place by sacrificing himself at Stinking Springs.
  • Death by Cameo: In addition to performing the lead track for the film, Jon Bon Jovi appears in a small cameo as a chained prisoner who escapes (and is subsequently shot when he pulls a revolver on a deputy) during Billy's rescue of Doc and Chavez.
  • Death Faked for You: The film concludes with Garrett and Billy's posse holding a fake funeral for him, and letting the world believe he's dead. Billy goes on to live the rest of his life under a fake identity.
  • Distant Finale: The film ends with the Framing Device of Billy as an old man, who drives away a curious visitor before reflecting on the scars he's gained and the things he's seen before walking into the sunset.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Billy and the other Regulators dress up as members of the lynch mob in order to rescue Doc and Chavez, by bluffing the town sheriff into releasing them into their care.
  • The Dying Walk: As a gut-shot Chavez is near death, he suddenly gets up and walks away from the outlaw hideout, but soon collapses alone and by himself in the town.
  • Famed In-Story: By this film, Billy has acquired quite a bit of notoriety, with stories of his exploits being written and released in proto-comic book form; the stories may be period-appropriate Fan Fic at best, but the trope itself is Truth in Television.
  • Happy Ending Override: The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue of the first film explains that Doc and Chavez went on to live happy and full lives after the Lincoln County War, and survived their exploits with Billy. Come this film, their fates were changed so that Chavez dies from a lingering gunshot wound after an offscreen battle with Pat Garrett and his men, and Doc sacrifices himself so that the group can escape Garrett's ambush at Stinking Springs.
  • Human Shield: Doc Scurlock dies in this way, taking the full impact of multiple rounds fired at him by Garrett and his men while the rest of the group uses his body as cover as they run around a corner.
  • I Let You Win: It is implied that Garrett intentionally allows Billy to escape from ambushes several times, and even decides not to shoot him with a rifle when he has him directly in his sights.
  • Impaled Palm: Chavez gets stabbed in the hand with a knife. He then proceeds to knock the fuck out of the guy who stabbed him, one of the other young guns, and casually asks if the fight is over and offers the knife back. By pulling it out.
  • Infant Immortality: Subverted. The first person in Billy's gang to die is Tommy.
  • Kill ’Em All: By the end of the film, the only survivors are Dave (who gets beheaded when he reaches Mexico), Hendry, and Billy (allegedly).
  • Meaningful Echo: After Billy springs Doc and Chavez from their planned execution, he convinces the former to get involved and fight by telling an old story Tunstall relayed sometime during the events of the original, concluding with the phrase, "I shall finish the game, Doc." When Doc performs his Heroic Sacrifice to allow the others to escape Stinking Springs, he interrupts Billy by saying, "Let's finish the game."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Doc gives one to Billy, accusing him of being so enamored with what the newspapers write about him that he's become reckless, which in turn caused Tommy's death.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Painfully subverted. Once Billy admits that there is no "Mexican Blackbird" trail, Doc tells him he's fed up with him and decides to leave. As soon as he steps out of the abode, he's shot by one of Pat Garrett's men, and only holds out for a few moments before sacrificing himself to get the rest of the group to safety.
  • Tempting Fate: The premise that kicks off the film. Billy, Doc and Chavez could have just headed down to Mexico and waited for things to blow over, but the former instead decides to antagonize a cattle baron and force him to pay an uncollected debt before they leave. As a result, the baron hires Billy's old partner to track him down and kill him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: A sheriff tries to shoot Billy, even though Billy already has a gun on him and warns him several times not to. Guess what happens.
    Billy: That was stupid, Bill.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Yen Sun has disappeared between films after riding off with Doc, and her whereabouts are never explained. Though Doc does mention that he has a wife and son, he never refers to her by name and her reaction to his death at Stinking Springs is never shown.


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