Critic Reviews



Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Broken Arrow delivers the hippest action fun around. Travolta's "Dr. Strangelove" exit will blow you away. Ditto the movie.
There are lapses in character motivation, and at times the film takes on a cartoony feeling. But if you worry about those things, you shouldn't be watching action movies. For its genre, Broken Arrow is a class act.
Broken Arrow isn't the ultimate fusion of Hong Kong surrealism and Hollywood realism, but it points the way to nerve-shattering possibilities.
Chicago Tribune
Broken Arrow is much better than the average big-time action movie because Woo has blazing style and a unique, even eccentric viewpoint. [9 Feb 1996, p.C]
The vestiges of Woo's achingly romantic style play badly in this can-do context, while the mayhem is never more -- and occasionally less -- than competent.
Broken Arrow is "Speed" gone nuclear. Yet, despite all the explosions, violence, special effects, and other choreographed excesses, this film doesn't have quite the same impact. It's fun, to be sure, and the wild ride doesn't let up for a moment, but the level of tension isn't quite as high.
Wall Street Journal
Joy has been replaced by a sense of laboriousness, even though the action sequences move along energetically enough and the movie does have moments of comic-book charm. [9 Feb 1996, p.A12]
One fundamental problem with the movie is that John Travolta is seriously miscast as a nuclear terrorist. Say what you will about the guy, he doesn't come across as a heavy.
With its lightweight hero and its random spray of ''high-powered'' action, Broken Arrow is like an underpopulated version of The A-Team. It's not just John Woo who gets swallowed up by the impersonal mechanics of big-budget mayhem. It's the audience, which pays for a sleek, dark thriller and gets recycled pulp instead.
USA Today
Though John Travolta and Christian Slater don boxing gloves to open the dippy but zippy Broken Arrow, the real slugfest in director John Woo's elaborately mounted action pic is between content and style. Call it a draw, and call the movie's content a Speed derivative. [9 Feb 1996, p.1D]
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Broken Arrow conforms faithfully to the tongue-in-cheek, post-Die Hard action genre, with the usual spectacularly choreographed action sequences and rudiments of a story line. Even considering the meagre demands of the genre, though, character and plot seem woefully underbaked and the reliance on improbable solutions soon makes the groans of incredulity outnumber the gasps. [9 Feb 1996, p.C1]

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