Most helpful positive review
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2003
SWITCHBACK is a good movie. I felt it had some great suspense scenes and the climax is a different one. Director Jeb Stuart has orchestrated some beautiful snow shots, and utilizes the special effects quite well. The main problem with the movie is Dennis Quaid's performance. I have enjoyed many of Quaid's roles, particularly in "Frequency" and "Innerspace." In this one, however, his stoic, emotionless FBI agent is so wooden and lifeless that I didn't find myself sympathizing with him on the kidnapping of his child nor his quest to find the serial killer. Danny Glover, however, is superb. He demonstrates a wide range of emotions, and even though you know where his role is going to take him, it's a pleasure going along for the ride. The suspense he creates in the scene in the convenience store is acutely eeerie. Jared Leto is okay as the mysterious hitchhiker, but a little more sinister behavior could have enhanced the mystery. William Frichtner as the newly elected sheriff did a commendable job with his underwritten role. (He was also excellent in "Perfect Storm."). This is the first movie I liked R. Lee Ermey. Usually playing the redneck villian, he gets a chance to play a redneck good guy and he seems to relish the change. Ted Levine, the bad guy from "Silence of the Lambs" plays Ermey's deputy with such downhome fervor, he too emerges a winner in the casting department. Basil Polodorous' score was also effective. Not a classic, but it deserved more than it got on its initial release; just wish Quaid had been directed differently.