Film Reviews:


(Charles Russell, US, 1996)

'Chuck' (The Blob) Russell continues to plug away within the Hollywood factory and, in 1996, came us with this okay actioner vehicle for star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Heavyweight seasoned pros James' Caan and Coburn add a touch of class to the proceedings and Caan's presence ensures that there is at least some good acting to behold (although even he goes OTT at times). Otherwise it is pretty much what one might expect.

Arnie plays a US Marshall working on a witness protection programme specialising in making important state witnesses, who are likely to be the targets of underworld hitmen, 'disappear' - giving us the film's title. The plot has Arnie protecting a woman (how macho and brave of him) from an industrial defence contractor who has developed the world's most powerful assault rifle utilising 'pulse' technology to 'see through' solid objects and blow them up in spectacular fashion. What follows is a cat a mouse game of Arnie trying to keep one step ahead of his witness' would be assassins.

A valiant attempt at injecting some intrigue in the form of governmental double agents and their double crossing antics always plays second fiddle to the set pieces and explosions. There's a thrilling plane escape sequence with someone (mustn't give too much away) actually 'aiming' to hit Arnie with a Boeing as he falls through the sky! This is just one of several climaxes that come across like True Lies-mode James Cameron firing on half-cylinders. The stunt work is great and the special effects terrific. Don't go into this one with too high an expectation and you'll have a decent time passer, but not much more.

Rob Dyer

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