CLIFFHANGER (1993) 

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

DIRECTED BY
Renny Harlin

PURCHASE


Movie




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 that good will with the following 100 minutes. You know exactly what's going to happen and you are gripped with tension anyway. Sure, the movie has amazing stunts, but, as usual with Harlin, the plot goes from somewhat believable to purely ridiculous in a heartbeat. That doesn't mean this isn't an occasionally exciting film. It's just one that runs pretty much by the usual good vs evil book. Besides the location, there is nothing at all original about this story.

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...crash landing with the money on a mountain peak in the middle of nowhere. Unwittingly, Stallone is called in to rescue them and soon ends up fighting them as they try to make their way down the mountain. Lithgow, plays the evil leader and is a decent villain, but he's too classy to be in a Stallone film. His vibe is a bit too sissy-ish for hand-to-hand combat and gun play, especially against the man famous for playing 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? Clearly the filmmakers thought that was good enough. Turner clearly needed the cash because she's completely miscast and obviously uncomfortable the entire time. What did she expect... Shakespeare? I'm pretty sure it was clear from the script exactly how useless her part was going to be. This is a film for action-lovers only. I know it was released as a summer blockbuster, but the lackluster plot will and poor acting will take the fun out of it for everyone else.




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

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