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4.1 out of 5 stars
Blown Away
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2001
Tommy Lee Jones is at his insane and malevolent-genius best as Ryan Garrity, an escaped I.R.A. bomber. He has the film's most chilling line, when he calls Jeff Bridges and says "I've come to create a new country called chaos, and a new government called anarchy."
Great special effects, not in the bombs but the close ups of everyday devices we see (?) Garrity use to make his weapons. When the phone is reconnected, or the oven ignited, we know that a huge conflagration will follow. It is fascinating, and among the more gripping scenes of the movie.
Why the "pros' dog this out is beyond me. Neither it nor Jones are wacky. It is more spellbinding that just the reviews suggest.
The music of U-2 makes a great backdrop to the impending action. Forrest Whittaker and Lloyd Bridges make great supporting cast members.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 1998
I very much enjoyed this film which I consider more of a drama/thriller than a pure action romp. Tommy Lee Jones is very hammy as a sadistic Irish bomber who likes to get things done loudly and violently. Jeff Bridges' Irish accent is terrible but I really enjoyed his character. I consider this one of the few action movies I've seen where I actually care about what happens to the characters and sympathize with their weaknesses. I also appreciate the fact that the movie gives the viewer time to breathe in-between exploding set pieces, (which are all well done). Something isn't going "Boom!" every ten minutes and the violence isn't that bad for an "R" rated movie. Largely an ignored piece of work which is too bad. It deserved better.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2003
Even though there's only one 1-star review of this movie, I still saw a number of reviews that say that Blown Away has little or no plot and is mainly just action/explosions. Those reviews couldn't be farther from the truth.
Blown Away teaches a valuable lesson: its ok to put a friendship at stake if its for a good cause. When Jeff Bridges left Belfast, Northern Ireland and changed his name, it was after his former friend, played by Tommy Lee Jones, was put away in Castle Gleigh prison in Northern Ireland. It seems unrealistic to see Jones' character ever breaking out AND finding Bridges, but he uses his own talent with building explosive devices to escape prison and he spots Bridges, whose name changes from Liam McGivney to Jimmy Dove on the screen.
Without spoiling anything, Tommy Lee Jones' character, Ryan Gaerity, does kill friends of Jimmy Dove, and the deaths are followed by very well-crafted scenes that seem to convey the emotion, pain and suffering of Bridges very effectively.
Both Jones and Bridges are well-cast and suitable for their roles. They both portray the Irish descent very believably, especially Jones (who, in the same year, 1994, did a pretty bad job of trying to sound southern in the movie "The Client").
I saw this movie for the first time when I was 13, and at that time i wasn't supposed to be watching it because it was rated R, and now, at 20, I still watch it and consider it one of the most underrated movies ever just because critics think that the high presence of explosions takes away from the plot. Its a shame that it didn't get better reviews, but, Tommy Lee Jones went to Harvard to learn how to act, and he sure did a good job in this movie. He won a few awards as best villain, deservedly. Today, movies like "The Matrix," are bringing in millions for not having a plot. Go for "Blown Away." You'll be glad you did.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2001
Jimmy Dove (Jeff Bridges) is ready to give up his dangerous job on the Boston Bomb Squad and settle down with his girlfriend(Suzy Amis). Shortly after Jimmy accepts a teaching position a mad bomber strikes in Boston. When Jimmy discovers that the mad bomber is his former mentor(Tommy Lee Jones) he is forced back into the life he thought he left behind and his secret past is revealed.
This film takes off with an exciting prison break and never slows down. Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones are great in thier roles and have an excellent supporting cast including Forest Whitaker, Lloyd Bridges and Suzi Amis. I found this movie very tense and exciting. The only downside is the dvd it self. The disk only includes a theatrical trailer. You can watch the film in widescreen or standard with DD 5.1. All in all its a great movie for any thriller or action junkies like myself and is a steal at this low price.
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While this movie is intense, it suffers from the serious flaw that a known mad bomber is able to move easily throughout Boston. Tommy Lee Jones plays an IRA (Irish Republican Army) bomber that has just managed to break out of prison. Jeff Bridges plays a former fellow IRA bomber who broke with the IRA and is now part of the bomb disposal squad in the Boston police department. He has taken the new name of Jimmy Dove and has not informed his wife or employer that he is a former member of the IRA. Lloyd Bridges as a relative of Jimmy's and Forest Whitaker as a fellow member of the Boston bomb squad fill supporting roles.
The action is intense at times as the Jones character is truly a mad bomber and he can build a bomb out of almost anything. A tension meter is clicking louder as Jimmy's wife moves through their house after Jones has been in it, opening things, firing up the gas stove, turning on lights, doing all of the things that one does. Since each could be the trigger for the bomb, you edge closer to the edge of your seat as she completes one action after another.
All of this goes over the top at the end when the Jones character uses an elaborate Rube Goldberg device to execute a self-destruct mechanism in his place of residence. It seems to serve no useful purpose other than to provide enough time for the struggle between Jimmy and the Jones character to run its' lengthy course.
If you like things exploding all the time and are willing to suspend a bit of disbelief over the ease with which the Jones character manages to put bombs in any place he chooses, then you will enjoy this movie. Absent that, you will probably engage in too much disbelief to take it completely seriously.
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on June 29, 2013
This is one of Tommy Lee Jones's best performances.
Never expected to see him play a mad, genius bomber that was even too crazy for the Irish Republican Army to want to recruit.
I like it when an actor stretches themselves from roles they normally don't play, and that's what Lee does here.
He speaks in an Irish Dialect used by the prisoners so the British Guards can't understand them, then switches back to English with an Irish accent, then to English without his real life Texas accent.
The movies premise was pretty ridiculous but I loved it anyway.
I don't give spoilers away but after 20 years in an Irish prison Lee makes his way to Boston, finds former comrade in arms Bridges living their by accident, wants revenge for the 20 years he spent in prison and other things, and all hell breaks loose.
The action starts from the beginning of the film until the very end and I liked the music chosen during certain parts of the movie, also this was obviously filmed in Boston and at that time Boston looked beautiful to me, though I've heard many parts are poor and full of crime, but this movie did not show any of that.
The only bad part of the movie I could find was the bad acting of Forest Whitaker, who I think is a good actor but in this film he was hard to watch, and his character was unlikable, arrogant and annoying to me.
Other than that this movie was great and action packed.
Hail Odin!!!!!!!!!!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The highlight of this pyrotechnically superb thriller is midway in the film when the audience and hero Jeff Bridges thinks a bomb has been placed in his home, to kill his new wife and daughter. The camera pans in on several normal things, with such intensity and ferocity, you're sure the house is gonna blow: a gas stove has never seemed so menacing.
While BLOWN AWAY doesn't have the most original of plots, it has a sincerity and intensity that buoy the movie along, with several expertly filmed sequences. Bridges rushing to save his two friends from an exploding truck; Bridges watching as his uncle (played by Lloyd Bridges) is wired to blow; the climactic explosion on the Dolphin--these are outstanding set pieces, expertly helmed by Stephen Hopkins.
Jeff Bridges is marvelous in his role, ably supported by his aformentioned father; Suzy Amis, Forest Whitaker and the devilishly profane Tommy Lee Jones.
Hold on to your seats and ignore the critics on this one---it delivers explosively!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 1999
If you like the "edge of your seat" blowing stuff up movies, then this one is for you! Sometimes you never knew when things would actually blow up because the director would tease you a little. Tommy Lee Jones did a great job with the accent and the "crazy" look that Gaerity had. I'd buy this movie again. :)
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Both movies are about bombs and while this is not as popular as Speed I find it much more interesting in terms of character and mood. While I couldn't care less if Keanu got blown away or not.
Most IRA movies made in Hollywood are always critisized for weak plots and the actors not sounding like real Irishmen. While this is generally true (Brad Pitt in the Devil's Own) it certainly isn't for Blown Away. Tommy Lee Jones is quite convincing as a deranged IRA bomber who goes after Jeff Bridges in revenge for betraying him 25 years earlier.
Stephen Hopkins uses his fave cinematographer and composer Peter Levy and Alan Silvestri to bring some visual style and a powerful musical score to accompany the action and explosion scenes. The final encounter between Jones and Bridges is WAY cool. Trust me. It's one of the best showdowns in history.
A cool use of widescreen photography captures a pleasant and eye-pleasing view of Boston. I only ever saw this city in Cheers previously and now it makes wanna visit. This film was overlooked in the summer of 1994 because the audience was too busy with Keanu foiling Dennis Hopper. But Speed was just about a bomber wanting money. Blown Away is a more personal, character-driven film and definitely the superior of the two.
The DVD is in great looking 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and has an incredible Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. Keep an eye on the bricks in your house. The might just crumble!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2014
Blown Away, 1994 film

The story begins in a prison in Northern Ireland. One prisoner finds hidden supplies, he builds a bomb to escape from a hole in the wall! Next there is a hidden bomb at a university in Boston. A police bomb expert disables it just in time! He suffers from the strain. Elsewhere there is a tavern in Boston, we see the escaped prisoner (who watches the bomb expert on TV). This bomber calls to get information on the police bomb expert. We see a party for people. Later there is a bomb explosion! The police bomb expert teaches others his skills. That bomber gets a job as a janitor in police headquarters! [No security checks?] We now know who the bad guy is, and the good guy, so the drama comes from seeing when the police catch the bad guy.

Will a bomb be placed in a police vehicle? Can they be warned in time? What was the purpose in this? That bomber calls the police bomb expert! [Believable? No Caller ID?] Will Leo’s wife and children be targeted? There is a personal motive for revenge here. The identification of the bomber will help in the search. Jimmy’s father makes contact with someone for information on Gaerity. But he is discovered and attacked! His son rushes to his rescue and finds him tied up and booby-trapped with a bomb! We see another dramatic event. Jimmy is upset. His wife tells him who was at the beach house. Gaerity cooks up some chemicals at home. Leo finds a clue, will this lead him to Gaerity? There is more conversation and drama. [Incredible?] There is fight with cartoon-ish action.

Can Leo be rescued in time? Will there be explosions to wake up anyone who is dozing? We see the rockets red glare and other fireworks. Will Leo’s wife’s car have a bomb planted in it? Can Leo reach their car and dismantle the bomb? Can the crowd be dispersed? “Who are you?” And so the good guys win in the end.

This is not a good story because of its somewhat unbelievable features (such as a too complex bomb fuze at the end). The more complex the mechanism, the more likely something can or will go wrong. But they thought it would improved the story, I guess. Given the recent bombing on Patriot’s Day (April 19) this may not be an amusing movie. You can decide otherwise. “Patriot’s Day” is a Massachusetts state holiday that commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
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