(Air Date: Week Of 2/14/96)
There are very few pleasures in life quite like a John Woo movie. If you haven't seen one yet, then his new, big budget action flick, "Broken Arrow" is sure to give you a good idea about the kinds of movies he likes to make: big, nasty action films that feature huge, rollicking explosions and incredibly tough, chain smoking heroes and villains that exhibit all the best and worst qualities of real men. What else could a gender obsessed culture like ours ask for?
Hale decides to strike back. He throws in with a female park ranger, played by Samantha Mathis, and messes with Vic's world. The entire last hour of the movie documents this cat-and-mouse game, and you know what? It's pretty darn entertaining!
All the elements that make a great action film are here. Christian Slater plays an effective action hero, jumping off high places, kicking a whole lot of butt, and snapping off slightly annoying little quips as he deals death to the never ending supply of bad guys. Samantha Mathis rolls off atrocious dialogue as she uses her park ranger training to decimate the highly trained ranks of the terrorists, all the while managing to keep her makeup impeccable. And John Travolta is way over the top as Vic, exhibiting totally psychotic behavior as he flicks cigarette after cigarette at his ever growing pile of kills.
But let's face it: the action scenes are why one goes to see a John Woo film, and he delivers in a major way here. Explosions, death-defying leaps, nuclear blasts, bloody, two-fisted brawls, plane crashes, and more and more are your reward for seeing this movie. The intense interpersonal battle of wits between the totally evil Travolta and the completely pure Slater keeps one's attention until the next big scene, and those scenes just keep building, becoming more and more outrageous. Which is just fine. I mean, who needs sensitivity and reserved attitudes in a John Woo movie? No! Pure naked savagery is what is required, and that's what you get with "Broken Arrow". I love the movies!
Copyright 1996 John A. Lavin
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