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 »
She's green and eager. He's seasoned and jaded. They're reporters for rival Chicago newspapers assigned to cover the same story. He offers tips and advice; she scoops him. Then, their snappy patter, repartee, and ripostes get romantic even as their competitive juices overflow. Will corrupt scientists at a chemical company whose goats give cancer-causing milk kill the cub and the columnist, or will they escape with their lives and their by-lines to hear wedding bells? Written by
That this film fails on so many levels and still remains watchable, if not actually enjoyable, must be a credit to someone involved in the production; it's just not immediately clear who.
There are three main problems with the movie. One, the attempt to graft the noirish elements onto a hi-tech industrial-intrigue plot, which results in an uncomfortable mix of pulp culture from two generations: the hardboiled detectives of the '40s thrust into the realm of today's potboiler mystery bestsellers. Whereas the earlier style was streamlined, and relatively simple and focused, today's genre authors seemingly compete for who can make the most convoluted plot with sidetracks, red herrings and subplots galore. This contrast leaves the film trying to go in two directions at once.
Two, the relationship between the leads is never quite satisfactory. Roberts and Nolte are just not cut out for their cut-out roles, and while they try gamely, it's tough to buy them as reporters who bicker, and almost impossible to imagine them falling in love, even though its obvious from the first reel that this is where the story will take them. Three, the film is far too long, and it becomes a chore to maintain attention and interest in what happens.
On the plus side, there are some redeeming features. The plot plays its cards close enough to its chest that some elements of the ending come as an untelegraphed surprise. The comic touches are successful enough, especially in the bickering between the two as they try to out-do each other in getting the scoop for their respective newspaper. The camera work and editing employ some tricks to freshen up some scenes and the cuts between them. The only problem here is that once the same trick is employed more than once or twice it becomes a little tiresome.
We're left with a very standard piece of work, but one that works just hard enough to keep it relatively entertaining but not quite memorable, even for Nolte and Roberts fans.
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