CLIFFHANGER (1993) 

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Sylvester Stallone
John Lithgow
Michael Rooker
Janine Turner
Rex Linn
Caroline Goodall
Craig Fairbrass

Renny Harlin



Time: 118 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Action Thriller

Academy Award nominations for Best Sound Effects Editing, Sound and Visual Effects.

SYNOPSIS: An emotionally scarred climbing expert is forced back onto the mountain that claimed the life of a friend to rescue a group of men stranded at the top. What he doens't know is they are armed and dangerous, looking merely for a way off the mountain with their stolen money.

BOTTOM LINE: Leave it to director Renny Harlin to create one of cinema's best opening sequences ever, only to ruin it with the following 100 minutes. Sure, the movie has amazing stunts, but, as usual with Harlin, the plot is beyond ridiculous. There's not a believable moment from start to finish. That doesn't mean this isn't an occasionally exciting film. It's just one that runs pretty much by the numbers.

Stallone plays a professional climber, terrified of returning to work after a horrible accident, forced to overcome his fear of the mountain. The bad guys, who have a fairly ingenious plan for stealing millions of dollars, run into a problem they didn't anticipate...landing with the money on a peak in the middle of nowhere. Unwittingly, Stallone is called in to rescue them and ends up fighting them down the mountain. Lithgow is a decent villain, but he's too classy to be in a Stallone film. His vibe is a bit too sissy-ish for believable hand-to-hand combat, especially against Rocky/Rambo.

Stallone does nothing new here, but then again he doesn't have to. He stops the bad guys while tossing off one-liners. What more do you want? Turner clearly needed the cash because she's completely miscast and obviously uncomfortable. What did she expect... Shakespeare? This is a film for action-lovers only. The lackluster plot will and poor acting will disgust all others.

"You want to kill me, don't you, Tucker? Well, get a number and get in line."

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