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Cimino's forte has always been action, and the film benefits greatly from the famous synergy between the director and Rourke (remember the great Year of The Dragon from the early 80's?). There isn't a wasted frame in this picture, and Cimino puts just the right touches on this updated effort (Kelly Lynch as the steely blonde fembot attorney who collapses into jello in the face of Rourke's malignant sensuality; Rodgers/Hopkins in typical 90's marriage-on-the-rocks; Smith as the sullen teen who disses EVERYone in authority, even the conscienceless killers holding her hostage). David Morse and Elias Koteas tread a fine line in their performances as well, resisting the temptation to descend into Abbott-and-Costello farce as the two accomplices of borderline intellect.
Although Cimino has had his share of failed experiments (who can forget Heaven's Gate?), he more than delivers the goods in this film.
The plot: Mickey Rourke in the role he was born to play stars as a brilliant armed robber who escapes from prison with the help of his beautiful girlfriend and attorney Kelly Lynch.
Rourke reunites with his henchmen whom are not as smart as the Three Stooges. Together they head for the suburbs of Utah and hold the state's only nuclear family, Anthony Hopkins, Mimi Rogers and their two kids hostage in their mansion.
FBI agent Lindsey Crouse is hot on their trail with an army of cops to take Rourke down without harming the Hopkins family.
Why it works. As I said Rourke truly gives the performance of his career and a hansom devil psycho. Hopkins and Rogers also work especially Rogers as the house wife next door. We really hate Rourke and we really love the family.
The production quality is also very high. From costume design to photography to editing, to the score which is reminiscent of the 1940s noir thrillers on which the film was based. The production quality really is good enough to make the whole film worth while.
The big flaw the film makers have to overcome is WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? Why is the now freed Rourke only exposing himself of more heat be kidnapping the family. While his stated motive is because he is waiting to reunite with Kelly Lynch, a far better idea would be to hide out unseen. Secondly why is Lynch leading to police right to Rourke's front door? Shouldn't she be hiding too? And if Rourke is so psychotically evil why does he not physically harm the family?
That's the annoying thing. There are many lapses in logic. 1.Read more ›
The whole point of the film, as any film, is to entertain. This effort delivers what it promises...a taut, tense drama, that entertains.
No one liked this film because Hollywood NEVER forgives Michael Cimino, and they successfully "buried" him with this film, and the public bought it, as these reviews here show.
It's our loss, but at least we have this DVD.
Look for it on cable as I can't see sitting through this one more than once.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent remake of the original with some story changes to make it interesting.Published 1 month ago by Benjamin D. Bennett
Mickey Rourke is fabulous,this is better than the original version I think.Published 8 months ago by Carole Kasson
I watched this movie a few times when it was first released, but hadn't seen it in years. I was just as enthralled with it this weekend, when I viewed it again. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Laurel-Rain Snow
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