| Say what you want about bad-boy
Russell Crowe, he can act. However, despite his intensity, a Johnny-one-note
performance in this brittle drama wears thin quickly.
I wandered around gehenna for a
while, worrying about what to write on this overly-long kidnap and rescue tale,
at least until I saw the "Casblanca" comparison on
That got me thinking all right,
and I did a for real comparison of the two.
What POL lacks is proof of
writing, intrigue, and mystery. It is as straightforward as a ruler, and about
as even. Highs and lows are all porridge here, blending into the wispy green
Clear and Present Danger had more
jungle escapades and real suspense than this sometimes soapy
The victim of K&R is a dam
builder, honest fellow, out to help the poor native peoples of hindarauguaco or
whereever the made-up (probably) country is. Nabbed, and recognized as an oil
company executive because of his freakin' hat of all things, he is cartajena'd
off to the murky camps of the hills, there to reside in foliant splendor until
the ransom of 5 million is paid.
Russell gets in on the action,
then bows out when it is discovered the man has no K&R insurance coverage
and the oil co. won't pay.
Russell exits, wife (Meg Ryan,
being all idealistic) hires crooks, Russell re-enters to save the day, with bad
boy David Caruso trying desperately to revive his one note career by saving
another prisoner in the jungle. Kind of embarrassing, really. He shoulda stood
on NYPD Blew.
La de dah, about two hours later
the rescue attempt is over (which I will not reveal the outcome of). And so
Will the wife remain faithful?
Will Crowe score? Will the hubby escape? By the end you know they have to, with
exception of Crowe scoring. Whether they do or not is
So thank you Ad people, for
brazenly suggesting this is a Casablanca in its own right.
|What Casablanca has that POL does
| 1. Mystery of the orient, even if it is Morocco VS.
phobia of jungle-rot.
2. Spies VS. Oil
3. Unfaithful woman
pulling a scam VS. faithful woman pulling her hair.
4. Misery in Paris VS.
misery in London.
5. Police captain VS.
nobody in authority.
6. Lying informants
VS. lying informants
(Well! 1 for 6 so
7. Secret boyfriend
VS. no secret husband.
8. Nazis VS. Communist
9. WWII VS. the
10. An island VS. an
11. Lone detective VS.
armed helicopter commandos.
12. Peter Lorre VS.
Anthony Heald (who is great on Boston Public;Fox).
13. Fat man VS. fat
14. Broken heart VS.
15. Missing passports
VS. ransom money.
16. Nights in cheap
hotels VS. nights in cheap lean-tos.
17. Starpower VS.
|Well, that should be about it, except that POL is not a bad
film, it is just ludicrous to compare it to a timeless classic - a standard in
storytelling the world over. I recommend seeing it.