Director J. Lee Thompson and actor Charles Bronson always made an interesting team, and this particular effort was the last one I needed to see. Compared with most of their collaborations in the 80s, this is a diamond in the rough and quite an off-kilter, old-fashion adventure / mystery story that sets out to be intriguing and creates a nice feel of the times, than anything relying on Bronson handing out nasty punishment. Well on that point, the violence when it does eventuate is surprisingly brutal, if quick and too the point. When it happens, it comes from nowhere. However Bronson is given a chance to spread his wings, and act with confidence and stalwart appeal. It's a terrifically surly, down-played performance by Chuck in a suitable heroine role. Working off Bronson is a tremendously solid cast. Jason Robards' is subtly powerful in a fine turn and Fernando Rey's sly style always amuses. Dominique Sanda displays a potently classy presence. The support cast rounding it off are just as good with Simon Mac Corkindale, Dennis Millar, Clifton James and Camilla Sparv.
Looming from the presentation is a film-noir tone, and I don't really get the 'Casablanca' references (from it being a rip-off to an unfunny spoof) made about it. There's no denying it's rather talky though, but the script is involving and smartly weaved together. This works due to the screenplay having a busy (if muddled) plot and still keeping a breezy (almost brooding) air to it. Some contrived, and convenient actions occur, and the drama can seem a little uncertain. But it never becomes a worry. Also how they used the breathtakingly erotic Mexican backdrop in the action was accordingly staged and well-framed. Talk about nice sight seeing. The swirling, wide-screen camera-work had that ability to capture that organic sense of place, although the underwater shots came off terribly murky. Thompson's direction is undoubtedly workman-like, slow and effective on a much larger scale, despite the dreary look to its visual styling. Jerry Goldsmith's rousing melancholic score is picture-perfect. Everything boils up to an thrilling climax, as the calmness makes way for a stormy (literally) confrontations of two men, who share something in common, but how they go about things are entirely different. They have a past they like to forget, and this is their chance for that to happen and put away that lingering fear of something catching up.
One of Bronson's interestingly obscure oddities, which unjustly flopped and deserves an audience.
p.s I would love to see a good DVD print of this film, because the grainy VHS copy I rented doesn't do it any justice.
Action / Adventure / Crime
Action / Adventure / Crime
Offshore near Caboblanco, Peru, an explorer of sea wrecks is murdered. However, local authorities decide that the official cause of death is "accidental drowning." Among the skeptical is Giff Hoyt, an expatriate American, longtime Caboblanco resident and popular innkeeper. Giff's interest is further piqued when Marie arrives in town. Her passport is confiscated by the corrupt authority, and Giff protests. Furthermore, a Nazi named Beckdorff lives in a well-fortified compound near town, and he might be responsible for the explorer's death. Beckdorff himself seeks sunken treasure in the area, as well as protection from local interference. Can Giff Hoyt stifle the evil Beckdorff, save the lovely Marie, and possibly even locate sunken treasure? —veloc
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 29, 2021 at 12:51 AM