Blown Away (1994)

BLOWN AWAY is more blarney than blast-- a bum 'boilerabout a brilliant
bomber baiting a Boston bomb squad bloke. Tommy Lee Jones is the joker
and Jeff Bridges the bluecoat and, if you believe the script, they're
both IRA buddies from before.  At least they *were*, until a botched
bombing sent the set scurrying.  Jones went to jail and Bridges went to
Beantown, where he changed his identity and became a policeman.

Forget the sustained suspension of SPEED, this "thriller" has holes big
enough to drive a city bus through.  Here is a film that, among other
things, asks its audience to believe that someone with IRA ties (and an
Interpol record, no less!) could be hired as a police officer!  [Insert
clip of author shaking his head.]

Taken "as is," BLOWN AWAY isn't even good escapism.  Every character
talks too much, and, when the time comes to blow something up (which
isn't often enough), the film never shifts into high gear.  The
filmmakers even botch *the* best set-up in the biz:  a chance to cue a
scene to the finale of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture!" Somebody check the
cemetery-- Hitchcock *must* be rolling in his grave.

(And what about that stupid scene of a booby-trapped hard-drive?  Gimme
 a break!  Do big-city bomb squads *really* face situations as seemingly
 absurd as these?  Rigged elevators I'll buy.  But not this.)

The acting is all fine, with Forrest Whitaker a particularly welcome
addition as another bomb squadder.  His presence may be a nod to THE
CRYING GAME, but the less said about the Irish angle, the better.
Especially in the wake of the just-out-on-video IN THE NAME OF THE
FATHER.  And don't forget to listen for those great bad accents,
including (Jeff) Bridges' back-and-forth Bostonian.

The leads shouldn't fear the future. However badly BLOWN AWAY bombs,
Bridges will still be standing.  As will Tommy Lee Jones, signed to
square off with Val Kilmer in BATMAN FOREVER.  But what about director
Stephen Hopkins?  He's a smart talent who hasn't been given anything
*exciting* to film since the vastly underrated PREDATOR 2.  Hopefully we
haven't seen the last of him.  (Rated "R"/~120 min.)

Grade: C-

Copyright 1994 by Michael J. Legeros

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