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This is a typical Denzel Washington film: well-acted, rough language, a
racial theme and an involved story that holds your interest. A lot of
his movies fit those categories.
Washington plays a preacher's kid and its nice to see he has such respect for him.So many times, Hollywood portrays fathers and especially clergymen in a bad light. John Lithgow is the villain and is such a crazy over-the-top loon he's fun to watch. There are no lulls in this story, yet the action scenes weren't overdone.
It gets predictable in the end but I like the analogy in the film to the classic movie, "White Heat."
I was sorry to see a few things: once again, white people are all the bigots; Lindsay Wagner, television's nice lady of the past, now using very profane language here and looking hard.
Overall, this sometimes looks like a "B" action film more than a classy one but it's still an interesting crime film that sports a few different angles. It may not be one of Washington's better-known efforts, \but it is still entertaining.
Remember when John Lithgow used to be menacing? Remember when he was a
demented psycho in Blow Out? or the magnificent transvestite in The World
According to Garp? What about when he was a demented paranoid in The
Twilight Zone - The Movie? And that religious tormented Reverend in
Footloose? Even De Palma's Raising Cain was good in Lithgow's gallery of
Yes, John Lithgow used to be dangerous as an actor. And one of those great
performances was given in this little seen thriller directed by Russell
Denzel Washington, in a full, maniacal "Die Hard" mode, is Nick Styles, a
maverick cop who is framed fro murder after Blake (Lithgow, in electric
psycho mode) escapes form prison seeking revenge on Styles, the man that
him on cold seven years ago.
The pace is really fast, the situations are extreme and the movie even
manages to include some over the top, twisted violence. Sure, it has the
very same conventionalisms and clichés of every other action movie (Styles
partner dies, et al), but still, Ricochet goes over the average thanks to
bravura performances by the two leads and some damn fine action sequences
But now, Russell Mulcahy has stepped into oblivion and John Lithgow has become somber family fodder in mind numbing sitcoms about aliens and rock.
Ricochet is an intense movie that stars Denzel Washington,John Lithgow,and Ice-T!I really don't want to say much in case you haven't seen it. I will point out a few things though.Lithgow really steals the show here as he puts on a great performance as a very mean villain!There is one small sex scene and a little nudity in a bard but it really doesn't show it that long.The music is excellent by Alan Silvestri!I love it when the haunting music starts when Lithgow shows up in some scenes.There are some really intense moments.Jesse Ventura is in the film for a while and boy does his character look different than his others in previous movies.Washington and Ice-t were very good.Anyway it a cool film directed by Russell Mulcahy!If you haven't seen Ricochet before than now is the time to check it out!
This movie rocks! The double cat-and-mouse game played by Washington and
Lithgow works. If you are looking for an action movie that provides plenty
of thrills, conflicts, drama, chases, and breathtaking suspenses and
actually has a PLOT, then this film is for you.
Washington and Lithgow are both first rate, as always, and this movie does not disappoint. Watch it!
*** out of ****
Over-the-top vehicle for Denzel Washington, here playing policeman-turned-District Attorney who puts slimy killer John Lithgow away, but quickly becomes the psycho's main target after Lithgow escapes from prison (in what must be the most nondescript prison-breakout in movie history!). Ridiculous, sometimes enjoyable non-think entertainment doesn't take itself too seriously, and Washington is solid throughout. Lithgow appropriately hams it up, but Lindsay Wagner is wasted as a fellow D.A. Film tails off near the finish line for a formulaic climax, but otherwise isn't too bad. ** from ****
Don't get me wrong, I like Denzel Washington. I like John Lithgow. I just don't like them together in this movie! Too many implausible situations for me to believe anything like these events could actually happen in real life even though yea, I know, it's ONLY a movie. No real character development, just a lot of action, sex, violence. And we're supposed to believe Denzel, as the cop, paid his way through law school?? One scene towards the end was right out of "White Heat". I'm sure they weren't paying homage to that excellent James Cagney movie, the director probably just ran out of ideas. Watch once if you feel the need and forget about it.........or watch Philadelphia instead.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There is one serious problem with "Richochet." It is not good.
I say this with tongue-in-cheek, because one of the fundamental rules of being a film reviewer is to never say that you do not like a film, but rather why you do not like a film. The problem with "Richochet" is that I just don't like it, and I can't always tell why. Perhaps because it is made up of recycled film cliches that got old the millionth time they circled around as something fresh. I may never know. But I'd rather not know than sit through "Ricochet" again.
The film opens with an establishing shot. What does it establish? Pretty much nothing, but here's what I gather. It sets up star Denzel Washington as a rookie patrolmen, Nick Styles, at a small fair. He stops madman Earl Talbot Blake (John Lithgow) from killing a hostage, by shredding off his clothes. A reason for women to see the film? Probably.
An amateur photographer videotapes the dramatic collar and sells the tape to a Los Angeles television station, and they become interested in Styles.
Seven years later, Styles is a happily married assistant district attorney well positioned to enter the local political arena. He is the father of two, and his newest project in mind is focused on building a children's center under the Watts Towers. (Cliche no. 1: Set up good guy as a good, nice guy.) In the meantime, Blake (Lithgow) has been growing progressively more loony in prison, where he has joined an Aryan pride group. Here's the catch: He's not racist. He's just trying to get out of prison with a fiendish plot. Once out, he drops the White Ones and fakes his death, so that he can commit himself full time to making Styles' life a living (beep).
"Ricochet" borrows and borrows and borrows and borrows, and after that, it borrows some more. Here is a more complete List 'o Cliches:
1. Bad Guy gets locked up in jail by Good Guy and plans revenge.
2. Good guy has good life until Bad Guy comes back into the picture.
3. Bad Guy sets Good Guy up for something he didn't do (in this case, sleeping with a prostitute), and Good Guy fights back by getting Drug-Sniffin' Drug Lord to help him.
4. Showdown on top of a multi-story building, in which Good Guy is about to die when Drug Guy comes to the rescue with his band of Cool Dawgs.
5. Happy, sappy, predictable ending, resulting in Bad Guy's death.
That sums the film up. You're probably thinking that there has to be more to it, but in all honesty, everything else in it is a bunch of borrowed cliches, too. All underlying tidbits are borrowed flaws; cliches that worked the first or second time around, but don't work the millionth time.
I love Denzel Washington. I think he's a great actor, and I always enjoy his performances.
I love John Lithgow's screen presence as a villian. And y'know what? I must say it worked here. There were some scenes where I was held in awe with a sick feeling in my stomach (the scene with Lithgow and Washington's daughter). But other than the two main actors being good, the film fails on most levels. And, furthermore, the actors themselves didn't seem to strike any sense of chemistry between each other, which is essential for a film like this, even if they are enemies.
"Ricochet" comes off with mixed credentials in that it's directed by Russell Mulcahy, the man held responsible for "Highlander," and written by Steven E. de Souza, who wrote the screenplays for "48 Hrs.," the "Die Hard" films, "The Running Man" and "Commando." So what, exactly, went wrong here?
Well, here's what I put together.
The cop-buddy bit with Denzel and Kevin Pollack is borrowed from "48 Hrs." The battle between Lithgow and Washington (which ends in a battle on a tower) comes straight from "Die Hard," while the idea of a man taking on an army of disbelievers, or bad guys, is ripped-off of "Commando." I wonder if Steven realized he was ripping-off his own work so much while he wrote this script.
1.5/5 stars -
This is just one of those average Die Hard spin offs that in most cases I try to avoid. John Lithgow is pretty convincing as a stark raving mad inmate, but to many aspects of this movie fall flat on its face. Some of this stuff is just to far fetched for me to buy into. Do men in prison really dress themselves up in ghetto armor and masquerade around the lunch hall with swords and battle to the death? Do juries really buy into bashing the defense attorney personally, and do they allow DAs to jump around the courtroom waving his hands in the air like a madman and screaming like a girl? Is it possible to goto a parole hearing, tell a man on the parole board you are going to have sex with his wife and his daughter AND HIS DOG, and then have 3 prisoners just magically bust up in there with power drills and electric saws (with no plug-in around) and kill everybody, then make an escape on a van filled with books for sale? I mean cmon when do you want me to stop? I am able to suspend disbelief for a film in many cases, but then there is this fine line between entertaining and just plain ridiculous. The only reason this movie gets a 4 is because the acting was exceptional. Btw, drug me up on heroin and cocaine and I bet you still can't convince me to have sex with someone I don't want to, even if she is a white hooker with CLAP. 4/10
Rookie Cop (Two Time Oscar-Winner:Denzel Washington) has come a long
way from the tough streets of L.A., Nick's life changed forever when he
becomes a celebrity. When he stopped a ruthless psychotic killer by the
name of Blake (John Lithgow). Nick becomes a media sensation, when it
was captured on video by a bystander. Nick's career takes off as a
lawyer, while the criminal is behind bars. Seven years has passed...
Nick never realize that Blake is being planning the perfect plan of
intimidation, public humiliation and murder. Nick has no choice to ask
for help, when he ask his old friend (Ice T). Which his old friend has
become a Street Hustler while dealing drugs and stealing cars at the
same time. Together with the help of another friend (Kevin Pollak) to
set a trap for Blake.
Directed by Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, Resurrection, The Shadow) made an entertaining, lurid, action/thriller. This film is also campy at times, especially for this interesting premise. Lithgow offers a scene stealing performance as the villain, which he is entertaining. Mulcahy even manages to give a Highlander homage in a scene. Victoria Dollard (T.V.'s Spin City) also co-star in the film as Nick's wife.
DVD has an sharp non-anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an terrific-Dolby 2.0 Surround Sound. This film has never been a box office hit but it did become a cult hit on video and a television favorite. The film's only flaw is the silly conclusion but Mulcahy keeps things moving in the film. Do not miss this far-fetched but strong Action/Thriller. Screenplay by Steven E. de Souza (Beverly Hills Cop 3, Commando, Street Fighter). From a Story by Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps) and Menno Meyjes (Max). Panavision. (****/*****).
This rating means so bad it's great. Over the top to the point of a
Monty Python movie. Bad American Action movie finally becomes enjoyable
Too many highlights to mention, but I'll try. John Lithgow showing he can't stop mugging--a sad thing from someone who was a great actor before he became a mugging TV sitcom actor. Denzel in his most embarrassing moment, stripping off all his clothes down to his undies to distract the villain. And the scene with the hooker when she walks up to a drugged out Denzel who is begging her in his drugged state to not have sex with him (she does anyway) and she says "I love it when they beg" Over the top music score helps push this into bad movie heaven as does the "making crap great" director R.M. working at the top of his bad movie MTV form. I miss him now in these days of Michael Bay etc, he had style to his crap that saved some of the films or elevated them to be fandango's of excess and lighting. Outlandish in every sense also tasteless on every level this is Hollywood product at its most SUPER SIZE ME level.
The only thing that may hinder your enjoyment is if you like Denzel and Lithgow (I certainly liked them at their best) and don't want to see them totally take this job for the money. Also a problem if you can't take the attempts at nasty film-making as comedy, which you have to to enjoy this mean spirited ridiculous trash, your apt to be offended and would have every right to. But not taken seriously this is a real gem and should become a cult item in the future.
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