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Reluctantly, the penniless, injured, and down-on-his-luck former football player, Terry Brogan, accepts to track down Jessie Wyler: the ex-girlfriend of the old friend and shady nightclub owner, Jake Wise. Now, on the sun-kissed beaches of picturesque Cozumel, Terry not only finds the elusive woman but also, unexpectedly, falls head-over-heels for Jessie, against the backdrop of suspicion and betrayal. More and more, Terry finds himself trapped in an intricate web of passion, intrigue, and murder, as Jessie starts to feel the burden of choice in this dangerous love triangle. Can there be a future?Written by
In the scene where Terry and Jess are arguing on the "ball field" in Chichen Itza, as the camera switches back and forth between the two, in the background behind Jess a group of kids playing ball can be seen at the other end of the arena; when the camera cuts back to her, they're gone, and the next time the camera returns to her, they are visible again, albeit in the very edge of the frame. See more »
Loosely based on a 1947 film noir, "Out of the Past," Taylor Hackford's "Against All Odds" has strong performances in all but the most critical role. Jessie, a confused disoriented heiress, is the romantic obsession of two men and the crux of the film's action. However, Rachel Ward fails to convince that Jessie could obsess anyone with her flat delivery and phoned-in performance. Jessie runs off to Mexico to snorkel and shop, and her gangster boyfriend hires an injured football player to find her. Sending a handsome hunky athlete off to find your girlfriend at the beach is not an inspired idea, and both the expected and the unexpected ensue. The twisted convoluted tale occasionally meanders, and the pacing falters at times. However, when the sweaty romantic scenes are over, the plot manages to re-energize and re-capture attention towards the fade out.
Despite her physical beauty, Ward is the black hole at the film's center. However, her two co-stars are more captivating. James Woods can play slimy gangsters in his sleep, and his Jake Wise is appropriately chilling and creepy, which makes Jessie's attraction to him even less convincing. Evidently Jake had a brain fart when he decided to hire Terry Brogan to search for the girl who deserted him, because Jake and Terry are worlds apart in the looks and charm departments. Jeff Bridges's athletic Terry, who has history with Jake, is unwittingly drawn into a vortex of corruption during his search for Jessie. Although always watchable, Jeff Bridges has had better and more demanding roles than an injured jock playing private eye. Despite a decent script adapted by Eric Hughes from Daniel Mainwaring's original, the film's central mystery is why Jake and Terry would be hopelessly drawn to a shallow drifter like Jessie. Ward received top billing over Bridges and Woods, another mystery as baffling as any in the plot.
Experienced veterans provide solid supporting performances, led by a still-handsome Richard Widmark, who, at age 70, remained a commanding presence. In a nod to film buffs, Jane Greer, star of the 1947 version, appears as Ward's cold distant mother. Location work in the Mayan temples of Mexico's Yucatan is travel-log appealing, and the end credits feature an Oscar-nominated title song by Phil Collins. An exciting car race through Los Angeles traffic is thrilling, if pointlessly reckless. Although "Against All Odds" runs more than 20 minutes longer than the 1947 original, Bridges and especially Woods are compelling enough to hold attention even when the tricky plot wanders.
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