movie film review | chris tookey

Desperate Hours

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  Desperate Hours Review
Tookey's Rating
2 /10
Average Rating
3.90 /10
Mickey Rourke , Anthony Hopkins , Mimi Rogers
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Directed by: Michael Cimino
Written by: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Joseph Hayes

Released: 1987
Genre: SO BAD
Origin: US
Colour: BW
Length: 105

You remember William Wyler's original, claustrophobic thriller which starred Humphrey Bogart as a brilliant but psychotic escaped prisoner holding to ransom Fredric March's upper middle-class family? This is nothing like it. Symptomatic of the film's problems is the fact that, instead of Bogie snarling silkily in a crumpled suit, we get Mickey Rourke as a nightmare in shining Armani.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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The first hint as to this movie's heroic badness comes in the opening sequence, as a flashy car is driven at suicidal speed through magnificent mountain scenery, to the accompaniment of a deafening soundtrack. Who can this be? Michael Cimino trying to crash into car commercials? Mickey Rourke making a getaway from his last three films? No, a micro-skirted blonde with heels like six-inch hypodermics (Kelly Lynch) eventually unhooks herself from the accelerator, and the improbable truth emerges: this is a lawyer, trying to park her car in as unobtrusive a way as possible!"

Michael Cimino’s unintentionally hilarious and therefore perversely entertaining remake of the Bogart classic is innocently unfettered by notions of taste, proportion or suspense, while the screenplay is so criminally inept that its improbabilities are too numerous to bother mentioning.

Mumbling Mickey Rourke and Anthony Hopkins at his hammiest (and least convincingly American) are just the hors d'oeuvres in a banquet of bad acting. Mimi Rogers, as Hopkins's wife, weeps and gibbers so irritatingly that murdering her in the first reel would rank as mercy killing.

Kelly Lynch plays a supposedly high-powered lawyer as though auditioning for the role of a deranged hooker in a John Waters movie; while as a super-aggressive female FBI agent, Lindsay Crouse gives a ludicrously deranged performance, like Hitler on acid. Towards the end, when someone tries to slow her down by shooting her in the leg, she abandons all restraint and gives us her Long John Silver.

This is one of those films which should never have been released, not even on parole. It's a danger to itself.

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