This is the sequel to "Romancing the Stone" where Jack and Joan have their yacht and easy life, but are gradually getting bored with each other and this way of life. Joan accepts an ... See full summary »
Joan Wilder, a mousy romance novelist, receives a treasure map in the mail from her recently murdered brother-in-law. Meanwhile, her sister Elaine is kidnapped in Colombia and the two criminals responsible demand that she travel to Colombia to exchange the map for her sister. Joan does, and quickly becomes lost in the jungle after being waylayed by Zolo, a vicious and corrupt Colombian cop who will stop at nothing to obtain the map. There, she meets an irreverent soldier-of-fortune named Jack Colton who agrees to bring her back to civilization. Together, they embark upon an adventure that could be straight out of Joan's novels. Written by
"Romancing the Stone" is argubly my favorite adventure movie of all-time. Yep, in my opinion it surpasses all three movies in the "Indiana Jones" trilogy (which are right behind in terms of greatness). This movie has action, adventure, comedy, drama, and romance all rolled up into one great motion picture. Kathleen Turner stars as Joan Wilder, a romance novelist who flies to the South American country of Colombia to rescue her kidnapped sister. She's ordered by the kidnappers to bring a treasure map that she received in the mail with her to the Colombian city of Cartegna. Ms. Wilder ends up getting on the wrong bus that ends up taking her deep into the jungle where she meets a fortune hunter who saves her life in more ways than one. He also seems to resemble the hero in her books. Jack Colton, the fortune hunter, is played by Michael Douglas (who also produced the film) and he talks her into using the map to find the treasure. But they're not the only ones who are dying to get their hands on the treasure. A couple of bad guys are in hot pursuit of the two adventurers. There's Zolo (Manuel Ojeda), an evil colonel who's on to Ms. Wilder (and is the real nasty bad guy of the bunch); Ira (Zack Norman), one of the crazed kidnappers who's obsessed with crocodiles (he's always saying "Look at those snappers!"); and Ralph (Danny DeVito), Ira's bumbling cousin who goes to the airport to pick up Ms. Wilder, see's at the last second that she got on the wrong bus, and is forced to go into the jungle to find her. Even Ralph and Ira know that Zolo is bad news. There are also minor supporting characters in the film. There's Gloria (Holland Taylor from TV's "The Practice"), Ms. Wilder's publisher; Elaine (Mary Ellen Trainor), Ms. Wilder's sister; and Juan (Alfonso Arau), a Colombian native who actually turns out to be a huge fan of Ms. Wilder. In one very funny scene, Ms. Wilder and Mr. Colton go to the house of this man and ask him if they can borrow his car. The Colombian tells them to get lost, until he finds out that the woman is actually Joan Wilder the novelist, and admits that he's one of her biggest fans who has read every one of her books. He proceeds to help the two get out of a jam. "Romancing the Stone" has plenty of exhilarating action scenes, and a load of big laughs. This was director Robert Zemeckis' first hit movie (which he made before the original "Back to the Future"), and I still think this is his best film. Zemeckis is one of our best directors working today, and rarely (like Steven Spielberg and James Cameron) does he make a bad film. "Romancing the Stone" is a great movie. Turner is splendid as the novelist up to her neck in trouble; Douglas is terrific as her sidekick; and Norman and Arau are hilarious in smaller roles. But the one who provides the biggest laughs in the movie is Danny DeVito. He is literally a scream in "Romancing the Stone". I kept falling down on my side because he had me laughing so hard. This is one movie that's a must-see for people who like a mix of action, suspense, adventure, romance, thrills, and lots of comedy. One of the '80s best. Followed by the very good sequel "Jewel of the Nile".
**** (out of four)
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