The Peacemaker

USA - 1997

Movie Review By Andrea Chase

"The Peacekeeper" wants to be a taut action thriller with a message on the arms race. Would that it were so. Instead, it's a silly and cliché-ridden backhanded homage to the 60s spy movie craze that substitutes disarmament for the missile gap and Bosnia for the Iron Curtain. Not even the two rip-snorting action sequences thrown in to distract us from the plot holes can make up for the lame doings before and after them that we, the audience, must endure.

The convoluted plot presents a fresh from the private sector Nicole Kidman in charge of tracking down stolen nuclear warheads. No self-respecting spy flick from the 60s could have her doing this alone, so enter George Clooney, as a hunky military intelligence-type, to help. He's a charming, unorthodox rogue known for getting the job done at any cost.

For reasons never adequately explained, he decides to take Nicole along as he sleuths through Europe playing cloak and dagger when it would have been easier, and sneakier, to hack into someone's computer. It's like this through the whole picture. Why do things efficiently when you can have a car chase that levels several blocks of picturesque Vienna? And about that car chase. Umpteen cars in flames, umpteen corpses, mass destruction of the obligatory flower stands, fruit carts, and sidewalk cafes and NO ONE calls the cops? George and Nicole just saunter back to their hotel so that George can show us his sensitive side? They're not even cited for disturbing the peace? I think not.

Then there's the Nicole problem. She's plays it tentative throughout and so needy for validation that she comes off as someone I wouldn't trust to find my lost hamster, much less save the world. George, on the other hand, I would trust implicitly. Though, his character would be so insufferably smug about it afterwards that he would need to be shot.

Clooney deserves better. He's got star quality, but not enough to save "The Peacemaker." Better luck next time, George.

© 1997 • Andrea Chase • Air Date: 9/24/97

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