Point Of No Return

"Movie Magazine International" Review

(Air Date: Week Of 3/17/93)

By Monica Sullivan

Question: What is the difference between the 1990 French film "La Femme Nikita" and the new Warner Bros. release "Point Of No Return"? Answer: "Point Of No Return" is in English. I'm trying to imagine the extent of director John Badham's professional pride, although I suppose at his level, it must be easy to face himself in the mirror since he was paid a whopping salary for plagiarising Luc Besson's directing style. I'm not kidding: "Point of No Return" not only has the same directorial slant and dialogue PLUS near-identical reconstruction of all the original sequences, but it even has the same damn camera angles on many of the shots.

After all the time John Ritter and Michael Landon spent shoving the "Where there's a will, there's and "A" philosophy down everyone's throats, you'd think there'd be a better way to spend zillions of dollars than recreating French movies because Americans can't read subtitles. This is assuming that the originals were worth duping in the first place. The whole point of "La Femme Nikita" seemed to be that if a dame puts on a little lipstick and fluffs up her hair, she has most of what she needs as the ideal professional assassin. But of course, all those cosmetics will ALSO supply her with a conscience, so audiences are treated to two hours of "Oh, gee whiz, should I shoot that guy or go to bed with my boyfriend?" Apparently audiences have responded to this burning ethical quandary, because "La Femme Nikita" has been a huge international hit and "Point Of No Return" may very well be, too.

At least it has Bridget Fonda in the above-the-title role after an apprenticeship that has gone on since 1987. Fonda is such an intelligent and attractive presence onscreen that she genuinely deserves a role that she can sink her teeth into, but maybe "Point Of No Return" will lead to one or two of them, eventually. Gabriel Byrne, Dermot Mulroney, Miguel Ferrar and Anne Bancroft round out the cast of Badham's overproduced photocopy. Oh, I forgot, there are some differences between this film and the original. You see, Nikita and her boyfriend went to Venice on holiday, while Bridget and Dermot go to New Orleans and the fist-fights and gunshots sound more or less like the real thing in the original, while the sound effects department cranks them up to resemble nuclear explosions this time around and Bridget listens to Nina Simone while Nikita didn't and...

Copyright 1993 Monica Sullivan

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