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Vanishing Point (1997)

TV Movie  -   -  Action | Adventure | Romance  -  7 January 1997 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,869 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 4 critic

When his wife goes into a troubled labor while he is on the road over 1200 miles away James Kowalski, an ex race car driver and a former Army Ranger, attempts to elude police while trying ... See full summary »

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(story), (earlier screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Vanishing Point (TV Movie 1997)

Vanishing Point (TV Movie 1997) on IMDb 5.7/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Raphinia Kowalski
...
Sergeant Preston
...
Gilmore
...
(as James G. MacDonald)
Paul Benjamin
Geno Silva ...
Mike Mas
...
Sammy
...
Motorcycle girl
...
Warren Taft
...
The Voice
Debra Sharkey ...
Producer
Ari Barak ...
Dr. Nazrin
Frank Roman ...
Hernando
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Storyline

When his wife goes into a troubled labor while he is on the road over 1200 miles away James Kowalski, an ex race car driver and a former Army Ranger, attempts to elude police while trying to get home. After numerous chases he turns into a Native American reservation and reflects on his life, and his wife. He then heads off to break through an impenetrable police and FBI roadblock. Written by Kale Whorton <nikko11@mind.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

7 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vanishing Point  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though the filmmakers originally wanted to use actual Hemi Challengers to make the movie, when they discovered how expensive they are, they used 440 Challengers with Hemi nameplates as a more cost-effective alternative. The Hemi engine shown in the film was actually inside a Charger. See more »

Goofs

To lead the cops off his cellular signal, Kowalski hides his cell phone in the left pocket of a light brown suitcase at the bus station. Later when cops stop the bus carrying the suitcase they find his cell phone in the right pocket of a black suitcase. See more »

Quotes

The Voice: When we are all criminals, who is free?
See more »

Connections

Remake of Vanishing Point (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Utterly forgettable, utterly pointless, utterly insipid, utterly dull
9 March 2003 | by (Oregon USA) – See all my reviews

What made the original Vanishing Point a classic was that everyone was free to read their own meaning into it... or read no meaning at all and just watch the Challenger roar through the desert. What motivates Kowalski? Decipher it from his actions and flashbacks, or just ignore the question entirely. The film is still magnificent either way.

But the studio thought this uncertainty made it too esoteric back in 1971, so it was cut and given a limited release in the expectation of a quick death. But far from vanishing, the original Vanishing Point became recognized as one the GREAT road movies of all time.

This remake shows that Hollywood hasn't changed much. They love remaking a classic (hopefully guaranteeing an audience), but they still think that everything needs to be made both very obvious and very very simple. So they get rid of all the classic elements and turn it into a generic chase movie. They give Kowalski a really REALLY simple, obvious reason for his drive, making his flashbacks and encounters purely superfluous. And being superfluous they are populated with trite two dimensional caricatures... boring fluff that could be disposed of without diminishing this movie at all, slight though it is. This is entirely unlike the original which had interesting, unusual people that added to the story and gave context to the nature and character of Kowalski.

And that clunky, mass market mysticism thrown into the remake? ANY film is better off without that!!!

They also decided to make a federal case out of Kowalski's run... literally. It's not enough that state cops will naturally chase people who run from them (as in the original, and assign a symbolic meaning - or not - to that if you wish). In the remake they pound you again and again with a clumsy blunt-object polemic about the government and militias, with the FBI, ATF etc ultimately all ganging up on Kowalski.

The people who spawned this remake obviously read their own meanings into the original... that's the quality it has that makes it great. But instead of opening up any meanings we might find in their new version for us to discover ourselves, they forced on us that single reading of theirs alone. Unfortunately, that one narrow focus vastly shrank the appeal of the remake to something less than a vanishing point. The end result wasn't worth the wasting of either the Charger or the Challenger, let alone the both of them.


31 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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