A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
Based on the novel by David Baldacci, Absolute Power is about the ruthlessness of people in power. The President believes that everything he does is beyond reproach, including an affair or two. That leads to murder and everyone around him is involved. There is only one witness, a thief named Luther Whitney. They are sure he'll talk, but when? The Secret Service is determined to keep him quiet, but catching a thief isn't always easy. Written by
Kristie Murray <email@example.com>
The film was made and released one year after its source novel "Absolute Power" by David Baldacci was first published in 1996. Reportedly, the film rights to the book sold for five million dollars. See more »
When Burton and Collin are chasing Whitney through the woods, a shadow of the camera is visible in the trees behind them. See more »
But then you go to the police. That's what innocent people do. They go to the police.
Sure. And that young man who was just here, he'd believe me over the President, wouldn't he?
Well, why should I believe you?
Because I swear to you, Kate. I swear to you on Mattie's grave. Yeah, that's right. Your mother's grave, I'd kill myself before I lied about that.
Oh Jesus, Luther.
Yeah, I know.
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Absolute Power may not be an overly special film but it was the first
movie I saw in the cinema after leaving high school. I was certainly
not the target audience but it had my attention from the first scene
and maintained the suspense for the during of the running time, even if
it doesn't build to much.
Clint Eastwood plays Luther Whitney, an expert thief who targets
billionaire industrialist Walter Sullivan (grouchy old EG Marshall, in
his last theatrical movie) while he is off on vacation. While in the
midst of cleaning out the vault the President of the United States
(Gene Hackman) enters the room with Sullivan's wife. Whitney hides in
the vault, which has a two-way mirror, and witnesses the President get
a little too rough with the woman, which ends in her fighting him off
and being murdered by the secret service. The Chief of Staff concocts a
plan to cover up the murder not knowing that Whitney is watching the
whole thing. As the group leave he escapes, taking a crucial piece of
evidence with him.
Initially unsure what to do, Whitney decides to taunt the President,
though it's not clear what his complete plan is or even if he's just
free-forming. If one should fault Absolute Power for any reason it's
that it establishes a lot of plot and potential but never really does
anything with it and ends with an anti-climactic cop-out.
Where it succeeds is with the small cast of characters who really make
the dialogue and relationships work. Ed Harris as the confused but
dedicated cop investigating the case, Laura Linney as Whitney's
resentful daughter, and the austere Scott Glenn as the self-doubting
agent make every scene effortless even when there's not much happening.
Adapted from (and streamlined and improved in the process) the bloated
novel by David Baldacci (I call them 'Airport novels' those 600-page
bricks with generic covers featuring nothing but the title and author
in giant gold letters in a tacky font) the screenplay makes many
changes but they are all for the better. Eastwood's direction is slow
and steady or 'mature'. The pace and framing is the antidote for
anyone bored to tears with the nauseating aesthetic of today's
comic-book movies and CGI nightmares.
A curious thing about the beginning of the movie is that Clint Eastwood
only has 2 lines of dialogue for the entire 35 minutes. I don't
understand why he didn't cut them out and remain silent, which would
give the film a peculiar edge.
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