The Peacemaker (1997)

Reporting on THE PEACEMAKER.  The first film from Dreamworks SKG-- 
you know, that studio from those guys-- is, well, one, long chase 
scene.  Nicole Kidman and George Clooney go through the requisite 
motions as a pair of nuclear weapons experts, trotting the globe in 
search of stolen Russian warheads, one of which ends up in a Bos-
nian backpack, bound for the Big Apple.  Kidman, as a brunette (!), 
plays the presidential adviser who's in charge, while Clooney bobs 
along as a Special Forces officer who pretends she isn't.  And 
while neither delivers the star performance that's expected, they 
do have enough chemistry to keep their scenes interesting.  (Just 
ignore their idiotic repartee at the outset.  Once people begin to 
die around them, they shut up and get serious.  And, believe it or 
not, actually grieve.)  

More importantly, both are able to stay in step with director Mimi 
Leder's relentlessly brisk pacing.  This is a movie that *moves*, 
man, and isn't afraid to sacrifice such trivialities as character 
development, plot complexity, or humor.  (The grim business of 
counter-terrorism is periodically lightened--  a "Baywatch" joke 
here, an American Online gag there.)  At least the action is ter-
rific.  Four superbly staged sequences are the real reasons to plop 
down $6.50:  the nighttime hijacking of a moving choo choo, a car 
chase/demolition derby/Mercedes Benz product plug, a helicopter at-
tack on a truckload of bad guys, and, the grand finale, where every 
available agency converges on a handful of Manhattan city blocks 
during rush hour.  It's chaos of the finest order-- marred only by 
a Dreaded Flashback to the villain's past.  And, of course, the LOL 
realization that the bomb's ten-minute timer has been ticking for, 
oh, at least twenty minutes.  Heh.  (Rated "R"/122 min.)

Grade: B-

Copyright 1997 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as Movie Hell: Making Peace.

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros