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There is nothing in "The Peacemaker" that is new or something we
haven't seen done before in an action movie. Yet the movie serves its
purpose; to bring some mindless entertainment with some nicely done
Nicole Kidman in a main part of an action movie? Yes, Nicole Kidman in the main part of an action movie and who would have ever known, she is actually believable in her part but her acting is just a bit too standard and boring but yet like I said before, her characters remains believable. Thumbs up for that! But the best roles are played by George Clooney and Armin Mueller-Stahl, who is always great in a movie.
The movie's opening is really a memorable one and is one of the very best action movie openings I have ever seen along with "The Rock", which was made one year earlier. After that the movie looses some of it's power and pace and we begin losing interest until the next action sequence occurs. Yes, it truly are the action sequences that are the highlights of the movie and make this movie a watchable one.
The visual style of the movie is also what makes this movie above average. The cinematography by Dietrich Lohmann gives the movie a cool action movie feeling. Dietrich Lohmann unfortunately died not much later during or shortly after completing the movie "Deep Impact".
The music by Hans Zimmer is most excellent. Zimmer and co really set up some new standards for action movie soundtracks in the nineties.
Standard action movie but well executed!
When nuclear warheads get stolen during decommissioning in Russia,
American military agents Thomas Devoe and Julia Kelly start to try and
track their movements before they get into the wrong hands. Julia's
intelligence background and Thomas' more direct approach don't gel too
well, but they must recover the weapons before they are used in a
terrorist strike against the US.
This starts well with the detonation of a nuke in rural Russia, and indeed it goes on quite well from there. The story is the basic 'terrorist with stolen nuke' story but it has sufficient ability to rise above the norm to be quite enjoyable. The odd-couple of Devoe and Kelly isn't made too much of and it avoids that pitfall. The action scenes are handled well and, though lacking in flair, they do contain plenty of tension and excitement.
The cast really help in particular Clooney. Clooney takes what could have been just a one dimensional tough military role and adds layers to it. His violence is just beneath the surface and it shows in his face and eyes. At times he does what is expected of him but for the most he lifts the role and the film. Kidman also does well at times she is a screaming side-kick, but she also has a bit of depth there too. The support cast never really get beyond ethnic stereotype only Armin Mueller-Stahl has a good role. There are some interesting roles given to now famous people Boatman (Carter in Spin City) and, to complete the ER coonnection between star and director, Goran Visnijc in a tiny role.
Overall this is a standard story. But a top-class Clooney and plenty of good, tense action scenes make this much better than the average stolen bomb flick.
Let's be honest first of all. Did anybody think the first movie out of the
gate from a studio owned by David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Steven
Spielberg be an artsy-fartsy film? For what it is, this is pretty good.
Director Mimi Leder does a good job keeping everything going (she was less
successful with her follow-up, DEEP IMPACT), and I was involved the whole
way through. I like George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, but I will admit they
don't get a whole lot to do here. Like the similar MISSION IMPOSSIBLE,
there's not a whole lot of character development for the heroes, so the film
depends on whether or not you like the stars, and fortunately, I
The one distinguishing factor of the movie is the villain, played by Marcel Iures. While the one who steals the missiles is your standard action villain, there's a gravity and sadness Iures brings that's unexpected in a film like this. This is no sneering DIE HARD rip-off, but a guy who takes an action because he feels it's the only choice he has, and the film at least brings forth the notion that if that's how he feels, we the Western powers are somewhat culpable.
Terrorist films abound these days, as though putting stories about
terrorists who make mistakes is supposed to make us all feel more safe.
This taut, well-written and finely acted espionage film is different
that those currently in front of us: made in 1997 this film in
retrospect had a better grip on just how frightening terrorism is and
how two-sided the implications of danger usually are.
Filmed with never let your guard down suspense, the story is rather simple: nuclear weapons are circulating with one headed to the US and the military joins with science in tracking the carrier of the bomb. George Clooney is in fine form as Lt. Col. Thomas Devoe, professional yet charismatic and his scientific colleague is Dr. Julia Kelly, with Nicole Kidman delivering a polished performance. And for once we get to see a terrorist as a person: Dusan Gavrich (Marcel Iures), despite his mission to destroy us, is a vulnerable, bruised human being. The supporting roles are well handled by such strong character actors as Armin Mueller-Stahl.
Cinematographer Dietrich Lohmann keeps the action lively with multi-angled shots and surveillance scenes and the tension is well maintained with the music score by Hans Zimmer. But in the final analysis the credit for the success of this film lies in the capable hands of Mimi Leder. A terrific little suspense film. Grady Harp
I liked this movie. It did what it set out to do, to entertain, though
post 911, the premise is especially scary (how poignant to see the WTC
in the New York skyline).
I was drawn into the plot, and didn't care about any inconsistencies or holes. Everything came across as plausible.
As for the comment made ccthemovieman-1 about the unlikelihood of someone of Nicole Kidman's looks being in a position like that, well, all I can say is that he should take a look at some of the female analysts and spies (ie. Valerie Plame) that work not only in the US government, but also others like Israel.
Make no mistake, many of them are as beautiful as they are intelligent.
And I give kudos to the filmmakers for resisting the one formulaic turn, and that is making it into a romance flick where the male/female protagonists first dislike each other and then fall into each others arms by the end of the movie.
So, for all those who say this movie is predictable, here's one predictable and clichéd turn it didn't take. It concentrated on the action and suspense, and only hinted in the very end at the possibility of a romance.
It was interesting to see, that even though Dr. Kelly was Devoe's boss, the actual dynamics were in reverse, with her following Devoe's lead for most of the time, and listening to lectures from him about her inexperience.
I guess the movie's producers thought it was too much for someone like Clooney to constantly take orders from a woman. A formulaic turn, I suppose.
Clooney and Kidman acquitted themselves well in their roles, as did Marcel Iures who portrayed the terrorist. He came across as human, and a truly tragic, sympathetic, though misguided, figure, imo.
The train hijack sequence was awesome.
A lot of so-called action directors should take some time off to watch
movie and learn from it. We do not need to see a dodgy cgi train crash
we can have things the subtle way, just a couple being awoken by the
destruction. We don't need to see a carriage load of soldiers cut down
machine guns in a choreographed ballet sequence, just the arcing laser
sights through an open doorway. We don't need ultra evil bad guys who kill
off their companions in sudden rages, just a compassionate man on a
disillusioned mission for peace. We don't need the 'obligatory' kiss
the co stars at the finale, just the promise of future things.
Peacemaker is politically unbelievable, it has some seriously ill thought out moments. But at the end of the day it brings a freshness to sequences we've all seen a million times before, it lets us feel the emotions of ALL the characters. Intelligent, stylish, and great fun to boot. Worth a couple of hours of anyone's evening.
A distraught Bosnian piano teacher named Dusan Gavric (Marcel Iures),
whose wife and daughter had been shot down before his eyes by Bosnian
Muslim snipers in war-divided Sarajevo, intends to ignite a stolen
nuclear bomb around the U.N. building in New York in revenge for that
Nuclear weapons specialist Dr. Julia Kelly (Nicole Kidman) and US Special Forces Colonel Thomas Devoe (George Clooney) try to stop the psycho...
Clooney, convinced that United States educated half the world's terrorists, plays a talented soldier who takes great liberties to get what he wants including heavy bribes and savage beatings With that cool, suave and dashing look that makes women swoon, Clooney demonstrates great sense of humor with his performance, and looks pleasantly cold as hell during high action sequences His unexpected reactions get on Kidman's nerves so easily
Kidman looks lovely as the anguished scientist who wants to save the world, struggling tightly against her self-doubt
Mimi Leder definitely proves that she's a commanding presence behind the camera She shows how to move more effectively the camera creating tension throughout the hijacking of the warheads, Vienna's exciting car chase, the flight of the three US Air Force helicopters ordered to return to Turkish airspace, the truckload of the bad guys hanging over a cliff, and the tracking of the missing warhead on Manhattan's crowded streets
The music is great... It follows the action well and elevates the dramatic suspense throughout the show...
Some movies stick in your consciousness. This is one of them. Although the script is not that original in its major components, Mimi Leder made a very strong visual statement here. The train hi-jacking sequence is about as good as anything on film. Although many reviewers here see the movie as one long cliché, the anti-hero is really protesting Western militarism and the ubiquitous arms industry. He's suffered a great personal loss at the hands of the "let's sell guns to everybody" group. The "Peacekeepers" ignore the slaughter going on around them. Blowing up the U.N. and a sizable chunk of Manhattan may not be the best answer, but in the context of the film it makes sense. In many ways the film is much more subtle than just "good guys/bad guys." Look again and watch for the nuances.
The newspapers and the t.v. movie reviewers didn't give this a very
favorable rating. As I had heard from someone else that I knew who saw
this, didn't seem too impressed either. But as I live and learn, I
realize that I have to be the one inevitably who says, "I like it, or
it's a waste of time." You ultimately judge what's worth your time
right? I saw this, I wish that I saw it in the theater, at any rate, I
saw the characters of (Clooney) Col. Thomas Devoe and the very sweet
and ever so lovely Nicole kid man's Dr.Kelly as being the type of
characters that could keep me in an interested and ever curious state.
Which for me, is exactly what I look for in a film.
I enjoyed the search and out of country 'trauma', that happens when in a foreign land at times, kind of like the terror that over-took the characters in "Clear And Present Danger". Although these two are different 'flavors' there seems to be a parallel in the action and the characters engrossment of their duty.
As such, I liked how Clooney seemed as Devoe and his mode of operation. I usually don't see a lot of female directors that really bring it home with an action persona, but Mimi Leder has done that to a very satisfying extent.
George Clooney and Nicole Kidman carry out a great working 'chemistry' that I found not only watchable, but believable.
I recommend this action adventure/thriller quest for all fans of the like and the two. Enjoy. (***)
Infuriatingly predictable and wholly uninvolving, "The Peacemaker"
finds George Clooney in classic head-waggling mode (as Army
Intelligence Officer Devoe hey! I bought that record of his, "Whip
It!") and Nicole Kidman in severe-skirted secretary mode (as White
House Liaison, Julia Kelly), saving White America from nuke-thieving
Russkies who intend to blow up Manhattan.
In movies of this ilk, the American Military is omniscient, portrayed as so technologically advanced they can pinpoint license plate numbers half a world away; relishing showing off their spy-satellite capabilities and infiltration devices - yet never putting that technology to use in deterring the theft of nuclear weapons in the first place. They seemingly only use these gadgets to sell your confidential details to lowlife corporate bidders, to conveniently lose your records when you report an identity fraud and to send you garbage-loads of junk mail whenever you purchase a new electronic appliance with your credit card instead of doing something important like CAPTURING OSAMA BIN LADEN. As Devoe says, "Toil Is Stupid."
Kidman is the token "sexy woman in power", incessantly battling to be taken seriously in a Man's World until man-toy Clooney turns up and cows her with his head-waggling and tacit indications that she might soon be allowed to touch People's Sexiest Man Alive 1997.
But they get too busy to get busy, barking orders at everyone within modeling distance, as is the manner of Nuclear Threat movies: walking through office hallways hastily (glass doors and staircases, add extra points), handing off reports, getting reports handed to them, hectoring underlings to get "the President" or "the head of That Department" on the phone, reeling off statistics and information to each other, extras with one line updating them on the crisis situation (oh joy! one step closer to a SAG card!) doesn't anyone in the star's walking trajectory ever have something that they should actually be doing at the time they're lining the star's route being barked at?
Meanwhile, something of world-shaking import is happening but in Nuclear Threat movies I can never quite scare up the interest to find out what. Ultimately, the Russian plot to blow up the United States grinds to a standstill through the efforts of the poreless Kelly (whose bra is always tantalizingly translucently apparent through her secretariat blouse) and the head-waggling of Devoe (who is air-lifted onto a truck which hangs off a bridge in classic Vehicle-Hanging-Off-Bridge position, leaving him just the right amount of time to get off before it falls).
Flowerpot hats off to Devoe, as all the stolen nukes are accounted for but one! So begins the final idiot act of the movie congruent with the final idiot act of a desperate terrorist (played by a non-threatening, apathetic Marcel Iures), who has the opportunity to detonate the nuclear device in his backpack at any time keeping in mind that a bomb that powerful would do the same amount of damage no matter where it blows yet opts to mill aimlessly through New York streets, presenting himself as a target for military rooftop snipers. Despite Devoe's imprecations of "Are We Not Men?!", the snipers refuse to take out the Russian, due to curly-haired American kids getting in the way ( strange, that's never stopped them in real life...).
When the movie has degenerated to the final chase sequence, Devoe gets to perform the action hero staple of Running Over Car Roofs and sliding over car hoods like a TV cop he even gets to knock over a bum with a shopping cart! This movie has everything!
Finally we meet the star of our show The Bomb - replete with easy-to-read big red digital numbers ticking down (Sesame Street was so proud they dedicated a sock puppet to Devoe), which Julia must defuse. And the big red numbers only give us two minutes to think about how predictable this whole scenario is as if the film-makers would risk mussing Nicole Kidman's makeup by having a bomb explode in her face. But wait! there's more malarkey to digest: we are told via Julia's harried and wholly specious dialog that this contraption is a "bomb within a bomb"; that there is a small "normal" bomb that they can detonate which will actually negate the detonation of the "nuclear" bomb I'd like to slap someone now, please - so we can still have our "happy ending" (the big convenient explosion) and yet save civilization!
Diving through a stained-glass window with an explosion at your heels apparently only sustains a few minor scratches to the forehead, no worse than falling off your bike on some soft grass. "It's a beautiful, beautiful world!"
Let us not forget the pat Hollywood epilogue: Julia does laps in a pool while Devoe appears to make energy-dome innuendo about "whipping it good!" after she emerges. Not that she has any choice in her future bed-partner. As Devoe once sang, "Freedom of choice is what you want / Freedom from choice is what you got." He is, after all, a New Traditionalist, and one of the Ten Commandments states, "Thou shalt not end a Major American Studio Movie without the heterosexual couple spanking it, to please the slack-jawed masses."
Fade to hack.
(Movie Maniacs, visit: www.poffysmoviemania.com)
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