William Bendix plays an underground tunnel digger who gets a new trainee (Dennis Hopper) who turns out to be the son he hasn't seen in over a decade. The father is highly upset that his son would leave college for such a job and the two talk about their issues before going into the tunnel when a disaster hits. HIGH AIR isn't the most original movie out there and there's no question it features an incredibly horrid ending but the two leads are so good and the dialogue so well-written that you can overlook the faults. I think the best thing the film has going for it are the leads as both are extremely good in their parts. Hopper and his method acting clearly steals the film and you can't help but think the young actor is doing his best to come off deep just like James Dean. You can see a little bit of Dean in Hopper's performance and I guess this could have been a bit of homage since the two were friends and Dean had died not too much earlier. Bendix was always great at playing these lovable tough guys and that's exactly what he is. The two are completely opposite in terms of the type of performances they give but it actually adds to the story. The dialogue is a major plus as the two talk over why the father left, why the son is in the tunnel and their plans on the future. I thought the film did a good job tackling issues that a real father and son might have gone over if they had met under these circumstances. There's no question that the film is far from a masterpiece and this is especially true after the atrocious ending but at the same time director Dwan handles the material so well that you can't help but be entertained.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?