Martin Bishop is the head of a group of experts who specialise in testing security systems. When he is blackmailed by Government agents into stealing a top secret black box, the team find themselves embroiled in a game of danger and intrigue. After they recover the box, they discover that it has the capability to decode all existing encryption systems around the world, and that the agents who hired them didn't work for the Government after all... Written by
Graeme Roy <email@example.com>
Martin (Robert Redford) avoids being arrested because he's out getting a pizza. In Three Days of the Condor (1975), Joseph Turner (Robert Redford) avoids getting murdered, because he's out getting sandwiches. See more »
When Wallace is firing the shotgun at Bishop in the ceiling, after his final shot, he ejects the shell. After Bishop moves the ceiling tile to surrender himself, Wallace ejects the shell again. See more »
After the Universal logo, the first words on screen are A TURNIP CURES ELVIS; the letters then jump onto another line one by one, solving the anagram to form UNIVERSAL PICTURES (and PRESENTS is then added). See more »
This film is the one film of the nineties which I can watch again and again without getting bored. That's not to say it's the best, no no no, but there's something about this movie which I just can't get enough of. It's easily the most frequently used tape in my limited video library.
Mainly it's the cast; quality names down the length of the list, and each one, from Robert Redford heading the motley crew of good guys (Dan Ackroyd and Sidney Poitier especially good) to Ben Kingsley as a deliciously cool but insecure villain. They're all clearly having such a good time as they're making the movie that you can't help but join them; it's infectious.
It's also surprisingly timeless. Seven years have passed since this movie came out, which is a long time in the gadget world in which this film is based, but none of their equipment or techniques (except a brief glimpse of a now outdated version of Windows but that's REALLY nitpicking) seem out of date; it could still be today.
And then there's the moments. This is a film based on a whole load of brilliantly memorable moments. When they find out what the mysterious black box actually does, it's truly chilling. All the little tricks of their trade on display are each a delight, from setting off fire alarms to being on the other end of the phone when the fire service is subsequently called. And the ending, in my opinion, is one of the most satisfying, and hilarious, conclusions ever captured on film.
In case you hadn't noticed, I love this movie. A great score, a great cast, and a whole lot of fun. Whether you got to these comments because you want to know if this film was worth seeing, or whether a training shoe web-search somehow ended you up here against your will, you really should see this film. It's a hugely entertaining piece of the nineties. And Robert Redford has done nothing better since.
100 of 121 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?