|Page 1 of 3:||  |
|Index||21 reviews in total|
15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Praise for an overlooked and fine film, 23 March 1999
Author: Gary Rosohac from West Virginia
Off Limits is a tense and even paced thriller. It concerns two cops is Viet Nam investigating a murder of a prostitute and the first suspect is a high ranking Army Officer. The film contains shock after shock, with plenty of plot twists. The dialogue is snappy and the interplay between Dafoe and Hines is excellent. The supporting actors are convincing as well. Kudos to Keith David who plays a paranoid witness to the murder. And one may not soon forget Scott Glenns portrayal as a crazed Officer. The scene in the helicopter is as tense and thrilling as a scene can get. The film is not a preachy summary of the war in Viet Nam but rather just a good mystery and slam bang action. The ending comes around too fast but you have to check it out for yourself. I suggest this film for a rainy Sunday afternoon if you are looking for a good action flick.
12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
A quasi-cult film for me..., 26 December 2005
Author: alexisdetroit from San Diego, California
Off limits became something of a quasi-cult film for me. I was in Vietnam with the Marines north and south of Danang in 1968 and once fantasized about hitching a ride down Highway 1 to see Saigon, no small feat as it is something like 580 road miles. But the highway was full of vehicles during the day and you could always catch a ride. I never did get Saigon during the war, but finally did with a group of war vets in 1994. One of my favorite quips in the movie is when Dafoe turns around and finds some South Viet QCs (MPs) coming toward him and says, "We've got mice." That's what we GIs called Viets wearing helmets with QC (Quan Canh) on them. I am now spending several months in Saigon on sort of a temporary assignment, i.e., staying with the in-laws of my Viet wife on a winter break. I would like to see Off Limits again just to critique the city backdrop it used and how realistic it was. I thought this movie could have become a TV mini series but realize it would have been more expensive than China Beach in coming up with SE Asian sets to shoot on. I give it a 7, perhaps too high of a rating, as it goes good on a rainy Saturday afternoon over drinks with friends, especially if they happen to be Vietnam vets.
10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Murder mystery with a sweaty backdrop., 4 March 2008
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom
Off Limits (AKA: Saigon) is the missing Vietnam film, a film I feel not
many have actually seen since I never see it mentioned on the message
boards out there in net land. While I have certainly never heard it
spoken about when talk of Vietnam films crops up. The film is in
essence a who done it police drama, two cops on the streets of Saigon
during the war are searching for a high ranking officer who is, erm,
It is the backdrop of the war that gives the film added substance and lifts it way above average, because we see not only the problems a murder investigation brings, but also the horror of war getting in the way as well. Some damn fine and tidy performances flesh out the characters, with both Gregory Hines & Willem Dafoe as our two stoic and battle weary coppers engaging us from the off, whilst the supporting cast of Fred Ward, Keith David (look out for his dance man!) & Scott Glenn are interestingly watchable; the latter of which who leaves the lasting impression with what has to be the best 5 minutes work he ever did during a brilliant interrogation sequence during a mid-air flight.
It's gritty and interesting and deserves to be better known and sought out. It doesn't pull up any trees as regards formula, and it certainly isn't one you will want to go back to time and time again for thrills and spills, but it hits the spot and as the mystery and stifling heat of Vietnam pervades the mood, you will remember watching it long after the credits have rolled. 7/10
15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
oblique shot at Nam, 3 December 2001
Author: jaime engle (firstname.lastname@example.org) from walnut grove, CA
Here's an oblique shot and a direct hit at the Vietnam war, from the streets of Saigon. Want to get a gritty feel for the tension and the ambiguities of the military politics of Nam from the top brass to the lowest levels of the latrine? Follow Dafoe and Hines as CID salt and pepper, good cop-bad cop, along the labyrynthine story of a serial killer U.S. "officer," with scrambled eggs on his hat and blood on his hands. The levels of tension are almost unbearable (a rare thing for me!) during the stand-off scenes between the Vietnamese police (wonderful, suspenseful scenes), whose point of view is given fair play and credibility and the amazing helicopter "interrogation-murder scene (itself horrendous) only to be topped by Scott Glen putting an unforgettable sucicide leap as a final argument for his own argument as to his genuineness (and madness that is equal to the war itself.) Whodunnit? Who cares? Sure, it's the least--and the most--obvious character; a fact that is anticlimactic, but does not detract from the more important quality of the film: moral ambiguity, cheapness (and richness) of human life, and the overarching sense of a world gone mad. One man (Dafoe) in the guise of a slovenly, hardnosed grunt/cop rises out of the muck and mire to make a solitary single morally redemptive act. Too bad there was no such redemption, no moral order restored by the war itself. A fine film; a strong portayal of the men, madness, and the immorality of that era. Recommended at a 7 level from me.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Goodnight Saigon ... Farewell Moral Values, 9 June 2008
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
Never heard about "Off Limits" before when it aired on late Friday night television here in my country, but everything about it instantly appealed to me big time. There's the obscurity status for starters (I'm particularly intrigued by films I never heard about before), the prominent cast (Willem Dafoe, Gregory Hines, Fred Ward, Keith David, Scott Glenn), the period of release (late 80's) and - most of all - the concept in its entirety. As you can derive from the alternate title "Saigon", the film is set in Vietnam during the infamous war, but it's definitely not just another epic illustrating the horrible battles in the jungle or the traumatizing impact on its soldiers. "Off Limits" is first and foremost a genuine cop thriller, set in a hellish environment torn apart through warfare, and an effectively disturbing portrait of the horrible issues caused by American soldiers outside of the battlefields. McGriff and Perkins have the worst jobs in the world, since they're employed as army police officers in Saigon and responsible to investigate the crimes committed by American soldiers. One day they're assigned to investigate the murder of a Vietnamese prostitute who had a child with an American soldier. They quickly discover this isn't the first gruesome crime of its kind, as no less than seven similar cases were reported during the past year and they're clearly the work of a serial killer with a strict modus operandi. The devoted and headstrong duo also discovers that the previous officer prematurely quit his investigation even though he came fairly close to capturing the killer, undoubtedly because several high ranked officers got involved and his own life became endangered. McGriff and Perkins, however, are determined to stop to sadist killer, especially when they receive help from a beautiful and street-wise young novice. "Off Limits" is a fast-paced, suspense and frequently very violent thriller with a screenplay that is full of misleading twists, false leads and red herrings, like a legitimate and compelling whodunit thriller ought to be. Some sequences are even downright fantastic, for instance the helicopter-interrogation (Scott Glenn is sublime) or the nail-biting scene where the copper duo is surrounded by a mob of furious and vengeful Vietnamese people. Christopher Crowe's direction is tight and consequently surefooted which is quite remarkable for a debut feature and his own script is *almost* completely devoid of dreadful clichés and irritating stereotypes. I do emphasize the word 'almost' because a Vietnam movie without mad-raving American officers and/or foul-mouthed Vietnamese prostitutes is practically unthinkable. Dafoe and Hines provide some terrific on screen chemistry, but they certainly aren't your typical witty interracial buddies like Eddie Murphy & Nick Nolte in "48 Hours" or Mel Gibson & Danny Glover in "Lethal Weapon". They tease and provoke each other all the time, but the atmosphere of the film and the nature of the events are simply to austere to mix with comedy. The film is beautifully shot and has a marvelous soundtrack filled with timeless contemporary songs from James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Arthur Resnick. "Off Limits" is a terrific and incomprehensibly overlooked film. If you have the opportunity to watch it, please do so without hesitation.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Pretty good thriller, 3 February 2000
Author: terry grant (email@example.com) from Forres, Scotland
I watched this film on Sky movies the other night, it is called Saigon here in the UK. It is of course set in Saigon and I think if you took this cop thriller and set it in LA or New York it would just be another average cop film. What makes it different is the setting and the backdrop of the Vietnam conflict. I must admit though I guessed the murderers identity about halfway through the film. It was also refreshing for the guy not to get the girl as it were! A decent if a quite forgotten film.
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
The night of the generals in Saigon, 29 May 2003
During the sixties,Anataole Litvak made "the night of the generals".A
nazi officer was on a prostitutes murder's trail in Varsaw,Poland:and
it seemed that the culprit was a general (check the title).That script
was absurd -in Varsaw,during WW2,there was worse,to say the least!-and
So back in Saigon,during the Vietnam war.Two cops are on a prostitutes ' murder's trail...and it seems that this killer is a general....Well you get the picture.
Well,it's not that bad.It's rather entertaining,thanks to Dafoe's good performance.A lot of things do not rise above routine:the two cops who ,of course, are very different,the de rigueur swearwords ,and strip tease galore.What's more interesting is the conflict between the American cops and their local colleagues ,although it's much too superficial,as the Dafoe/nun 's relationship is.Unlike Litvak's Polish extravaganza in which we soon know the murderer's name,"off limits' is a whodunit,saving his identity for the last minutes.
Best moment:although over the top,the scene on the plane where two simultaneous questionings take place gives goosepimples.
11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
One of the more unique Vietnam movies, 19 April 2002
Author: johnpollydccsre from Redding, california
Gregory Hines and Willem Dafoe make an excellent team in this unusual murder mystery set in Vietnam.Actual filming overseas add to the realism.Anyone ever serving in the Pacific can attest to that.The soundtrack was great, using music not usually heard in most of the Vietnam movies.Supporting actors performances were also very good ( Fred ward, Amanda Pays ).I have collected all the Vietnam movies and rate this one of the best.
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
who's on what side?, 14 August 2010
Author: lord woodburry (firstname.lastname@example.org) from The Society NY
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Army has always wondered what side army CID is on so said Colonel
Smokin' Joe Woodward to me many years ago. This film may answer good
Colonel's question. In Vietnam the USACIDC worked for the VC.
Following string of prostitute murders, Buck McGriff (Willem Dafoe) and his partner Albaby Perkins (Gregory Hines) are on the case. The suspects are all high ranking officers. Everyone including the ARVN (Army of The Republic of South Vietnam) QC (South Vietnamese Military Police) stand in their way. Only a French nun Sister Nicole (Amanda Pays) is of grudging assistance.
Along the trail, they're kidnapped by troops fiercely loyal to their Colonel, witness US war crimes called playing helicopters, and finally take a taxi to VC headquarters to consort with Charlie himself.
Yet despite their many adventures the answer has always been staring them in the face.
Much of the film has been borrowed from WWII movies: In Vietnam with rotation and change over troops weren't quite as loyal to each other, their commanders or their units as had been the case in previous wars. The sidestory of the love affair with the French nun comes straight from HEAVEN KNOWS MR ALLISON; in the 1960s catholic nuns regularly left the convent to marry.
Gregory Hines' character was about a decade before his time. The Army was late in placing Afro-Americans in the Military Police or in Criminal Investigation Command.
Yet despite these shortcomings the film is well played and highly recommended.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Trying to keep the peace in hell ................, 6 June 2010
Author: merklekranz from United States
Willem Dafoe and Gregory Hines play C.I.D. police (Criminal Investigation Detachment) of the U.S. Army. The scene is Saigon, 1968. They are investigating the murders of Vietnamese prostitutes, and the trail leads to several American Officers as suspects. "Off Limits" is surprisingly good, and works on different levels. The acting is very believable, aided by a fine supporting cast which includes, Fred Ward and Scott Glenn. There is a consistently lively soundtrack, and some welcome humor. What you get is a serial killer drama and a buddy cop movie, filmed in a very exotic location. If you are a Willem Dafoe fan, this is a must see. - MERK
|Page 1 of 3:||  |
|Plot summary||Ratings||Newsgroup reviews|
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|