Taylor Hackford, Tony Gilroy, Charles
Mulvehill, Steven Reuther
by: Tony Gilroy
Russell Crowe, Meg Ryan, David Morse,
out of 5
hard to say exactly what it is that this
movie lacks. I mean the talent is all
there. Some high-quality actors (well,
Meg Ryan is arguable), strong storytelling,
beautiful cinematography (from the guy
who filmed the DECALOGUES), and even a
fairly interesting storyline. But by the
time the credits roll and the final shot
of Crowe fades, you find yourself wondering
what happened to the 2+ hours of celluloid
flashing before your eyes. Where did the
I'm getting at is that this movie is slow.
There’s a lot of dead time. This is a
movie badly in need of a good trimming.
It’s kind of bulky and unwieldy. The pacing
is very erratic and suspense is seldom
doled out. Which is not to say the movie's
a loss. There’s just not much good to
say. There’s nothing new here. When engineer
Peter Bowman (Morse) is kidnapped in a
third-world country, his wife Alice (Ryan)
hooks up with kidnap negotiator Terry
Thorne (Crowe) in hopes of saving her
husband’s life. That’s not an oversimplification.
That’s all the plot there is.
all seen these characters and these plot
twists before. Crowe’s character is the
tin man with a heart, a character as old
as Clint Eastwood himself. However, Crowe
seems to break the bonds of this stereotyped
character and breathe quiet life into
the movie, which keeps it from dying.
He's turning into quite the star these
days, and he really is perfect till the
last frame. His downcast eyes and chiseled
face say more than any amount of character
exposition. Meg Ryan pales in comparison.
Her performance is dead on impact. Perhaps
she was overwhelmed by Crowe’s abilities,
but without her, the romantic tension
is lost and the movie becomes really boring,
really fast. David Morse is strong in
his sub-plot inside the kidnapper’s base,
but it seems almost inconsequential since
you all know how it's going to turn out.
Oh, and David Caruso’s back, and career
failure seems to have made him desperate
as he furiously tries to jazz up his minor
character and draw everyone’s eyes toward
him. When Meg Ryan is on screen, it works
cinematography is beautiful. Ecuador is
just an exquisite place and the director
and cinematographer don’t let you forget
it for a second. If you do go to see this
movie, stay for the credits. There some
of the loveliest things you’ll ever see.
Technically speaking, the movie is good.
However, the fault lies in the script,
or even farther back, the story idea.
Why make this story? There’s nothing new
to be learned or said here. There isn’t
a lot of romance or action. There isn’t
even a message. Just what is the point?
If it was based on a true story or there
was a theme, then maybe, but not like
this. It’s hard to make a long review
out of this movie because there just isn’t
much to talk about. There’s just not much
Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.
It’s worth a full-price ticket.
It’s worth a matinee ticket.
Wait for video rental.
Check out the video from the library, if you must.
While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...