F/X (1986) Poster

(1986)

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a fun little movie
MichaelM2419 March 2002
F/X is a movie I had been hearing about for years, so I finally buckled down and rented it, and I was pretty surprised. It's a good, suspenseful movie with nice effects, a decent story, and some good performances (except for the girl who plays the effects assistant, though she's not on-screen a lot). Bryan Brown plays Roland Tyler, a freelance special effects artist who seeks revenge after some shady Justice Department guys set him up to be the fall guy in a staged execution they had hired him to pull off. Brian Dennehy doesn't enter the film until nearly forty minutes into the picture, but once he does, he's as good as always, even if his character just sort of moves from place to place and effortlessly picks up clues along the way. I would have liked to seen the two stars have more scenes together, but they never even meet up until the final scene of the movie. Cliff DeYoung does his usual weasel villain, though he mysteriously vanishes from the film without explanation, and Jerry Orbach is good in a supporting role as the mobster whose execution is staged. The effects used by Tyler aren't as spectacular as I had thought they would be (disguises to avoid police, smoke bombs, fake blood, etc.), but they're used effectively. F/X is an entertaining little movie with a fair amount of suspense and some good action. Oh, and what I wouldn't give to have that home security system Tyler has inside his front door. The sequel's not bad either.
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8/10
It's Just an Illusion: What good 80s action movies were all about (minor spoilers)...
Pepper Anne30 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
There was something about 80s action movies that recent films in the genre haven't been able to capitalize on. I think a lot of it has to do with lack of originality, as the genre has been notorious for an excess of remakes of old action movies or Hollywood versions of foreign action films, new or old. But, there's just something about them that aren't exciting, anymore. At least not all of them. The 80s, for me, seemed to have some of the best of the genre--The Terminator, the Mad Max trilogy, etc. F/X is one of them. A cool story with good action sequences.

Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown), special effects genius, is hired by the FBI to use his expertise in a setup to fake the death of mobster Nicholas DeFranco, who they claim is going to be their informant. However, as Tyler will soon become very familiar with, the arrangement is a hoax and the agents aren't who they seem. Unfortunately, Tyler, who thought he was doing something good, and reluctantly so, he is caught in the middle of a game of cat and mouse because he is considered "loose ends."

They kill his girlfriend in the scuffle, and Tyler soon realizes who he's up against because these guys will stop at nothing until he's dead, regardless of who they kill in the crossfire. But Tyler is no dummy. He gets smart and uses his special effects genius to keep one step ahead of the paranoid agents who want him dead. In the meantime, our middleman is Brian Dennehy as the smooth-talking detective, Leo McCarthy. He's the only one with any guts to sense foul play is afoot and the only one really willing to help out Rollie. The object of the game is to find out what kind of dirty business those crooked agents Lipton (Cliff DeYoung) and Mason (Mason Adams) are up to, and what it has to do with faking the death of a notorious mobster (Jerry Orbach).

The movie has some pretty good action and chase sequences, and the finale is a cool idea as Rollie Tyler has to use some clever special effects to put a stop to enemies. He's got a pretty big bag of tricks up his sleeves. Though a little slow at first, the real fun begins once Rollie is hired by those mysterious agents to do a job. Overall, it's a pretty cool movie with a great idea for a story.

If you enjoy this movie, you'd probably like the sequel, F/X 2, which is quite similar, using the story of Rollie Tyler being set up for another mysterious cop scheme. Only with all the corruption going on in that story, Tyler's mishaps in the first look like small potatoes. Plus, Dennehy gets a bigger part, this time teaming up with Tyler (you'll see why in the finale of F/X part 1). They're both worth a try.
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7/10
A slick film
fletch58 October 2000
"F/X" beats most Hollywood action films. It stands out with a slick basic idea developed to a proper script that offers twists and surprises all the way to the end, but luckily not as much as "Mission: Impossible" did.

Bryan Brown is just the right man for the part of Rollie. He and Brian Dennehy make a great pair, although they don't appear together until the end of the film.

Refreshingly original and highly recommendable.
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7/10
Fast pace , action , suspense and lots of amusement
ma-cortes16 September 2010
F/X is a great movie because of the idea of a special effects artist trying to get himself out of a mess. It deals with F/X man Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown) as expert craftsman . FBI agents (Cliff De Young, Mason Adams), ask Rollie to help him to make a setup for hide a mobster named DeFranco (Jerry Orbach) about to enter the Witness Program of Recolocation and Protection . As he accepts thirty thousand dollars by execution the phony work . And the operation was going well when Tyler allegedly kills the mobster . When the agency double cross him on the staging the fake assassination Rollie finds himself embroiled in a deadly cover-up and he uses his special effects to trap the corrupt agents . Obviously FBI is involved with gangster's death, but when the things get worse he calls on Andy (Martha Gehman). The whiz Rollie and Andy team up once more to use their special effects to find those responsible for the death of gangster . Rollie must use his movie magic and wits to discover the true guilty and survive . Meanwhile an obstinate detective named Leo McCarthy (Brian Dennehy) and his helper (Joe Grifasi) are investigating the deeds. As far as the story goes , it involves a bigger scale of corruption in the law enforcement circle .

Entertaining but typical 1980's-type action thriller that has great potential as is fast-paced and well acted film . It has Inspector Dennehy and FX wizard Brown in fine form , and good secondaries Diane Venora, Joe Grifasi , Cliff De Young, Jery Orbach , some involved on corrupt business ; furthermore Angela Basset film debut . Some parts were predictable , but for the most part, it was nicely-paced with some good intrigue and mystery . There are some very exciting scenes as well as some ingenious special effects, including the initial setup that figures prominently in the argument. The cinematography and editing are functional . Action is pretty nicely done and fast moving with some engaging gimmickry . The motion picture is professionally directed by Robert Mandel (The substitute, School ties). Decent if somewhat belated followup to this 86 surprise hit was realized in 1991 titled ¨FX2¨ that does have suspense , however, the entire thing is nowhere near as engaging or thrilling , it was directed by Richard Franklin with similar players and followed by an amiable TV series .
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8/10
Special effects in New York City
blanche-221 August 2006
A movie special effects man is running for his life in "F/X," a 1986 film starring Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Jerry Orbach, and Mason Adams. Strangely enough, the movie also features two actresses from my alma mater, Diana Venora and Josie de Guzman.

Rollie Tyler (Brown) takes on a rush job for the government - they want it to look as if their primo informant (Orbach) has been murdered to take the danger out of getting him to the courtroom and protecting him afterward. But like Rollie's work, things aren't what they seem, and Rollie finds himself on the run.

Despite its name, F/X isn't a big movie, and the special effects are things you can see on any television show. What makes it unique is the way Rollie uses his wits and skill to elude those after him. One of the most exciting scenes occurs as Rollie, in his F/X van, careens through the streets of New York, using every trick he knows to get away from the police. Not your average car chase.

Australian actor Bryan Brown, who achieved fame and a beautiful wife from the miniseries "The Thorn Birds" is terrific as the desperate Rollie. Brian Dennehy plays a rogue cop - he's funny and effective, and the late Jerry Orbach, whose career spanned stage, films, and television, is the perfect mob informant.

F/X inspired a television show of the same name starring Cameron Daddo and also a sequel. For a little movie, it did quite well, managing to entertain with drama, humor, and thrills. It's a lot of fun.
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9/10
Special-Effects: Always Fun
ccthemovieman-122 June 2006
This was an excellent thriller, a story that grabs and holds you all the way. In a nutshell, it's about a special-effects expert being set up and how he then tries to get out of the jam he's in. Bryan Brown plays the good-guy "Rollie Tyler" while Cliff De Young and Mason Adams are the bad guys. De Young has the kind of face and attitude that makes you want to slap that sucker every time you see him! All three actors are convincing in their roles. Brian Dennehy plays his usual profane, tough cop role and Diane Venora is kind of unmemorable, to be honest, as Rollie's girlfriend.

The inventive story is the best part of this film, which was even more interesting when it came out because ever since James Bond, "special effects" were still something pretty new to most of us movie viewers and it was fascinating to see how certain things are rigged. Nowadays, special effects are something that seems to be a normal part of movie-watching, although "cool" gadgets are always fun.

Still, there a some very clever things in here and the movie provides good suspense and excellent twists. You never know what to expect. The film was popular enough to spawn a sequel.
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7/10
A child of its time
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews30 June 2009
This is very much an 80's action flick. It's got the tough cop who doesn't play by the rules. The unexpected hero. Car chasing, shoot-outs, and a theme song concocted to perfectly match with the movie it's for running over the end credits. Not every last one of those are good, though they tend to be entertaining. Fortunately, this one is both. And quite original and creative, too. Brown stars as Rollie Tyler, a special effects genius who is hired to help fake the death of a mobster, Orbach, who's going into a witness protection program. However, something goes wrong, and our lead now believes that he accidentally did kill him. The plot holds several surprises and twists, and it's carefully written enough to keep you guessing, without being pretentious or overly difficult to follow, and the pieces of the puzzle fit together nicely after you've seen them all. This has great pacing, it never slows down or is in a hurry. The suspense is quite excellent, and you may find yourself on the edge of your seat numerous times. This is 100 minutes of pure fun, and it never fails to deliver. The humor almost invariably works. Acting ranges. This has incredibly memorable moments, and dialog you can quote. The DVD only holds a theatrical trailer. I recommend this to any fan of this type of film, and/or anyone involved in making it. 7/10
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8/10
Good film - finally saw, by accident
caa82120 August 2006
I missed this movie when it was originally issued, and after all I read and heard about "Cocktail" (in which Bryan Brown starred a couple of years later) I had no desire to seek it out. But upon just surfing to cable's AMC channel one weekend morning, and finding it having just begun - I watched for a couple of minutes and found myself absorbed in it. After looking at some of the previously-posted comments in this section of IMDb, during commercials, I was even more interested.

First, my regard for Brown is heightened. Anyone married to Rachel Ward, for 23 years, has to have a lot going for him - even beyond what you see on-screen. And actors with British/Australian accents all provide effective "men-on-the-run, harried, danger-beset" characterizations. The acting here is all good. The late Trey Wilson, as Denehy's unctuous NYPD colleague evokes memories of his small-but-key, scene-stealing roles in "Twins" and "Raising Arizona." Cliff De Young, as the even more unctuous pursuer/would-be killer of the endangered Brown, could (from this and prior roles) be Hollywood's solution to replace Dabney Coleman as the quintessential, smarmy, "horse's ass," now that Dabney is getting well-along in years. As with all his roles, Mason Adams gives a good performance - but I can never watch him without expecting that any moment he is going to take a Smucker's jar from his pocket and begin a spiel.

Brian Dennehy is always fun to watch, and his "gruff-but-still-likable" persona was never better-suited to a role than here - he's the only one (except for one assistant) who has a clue, literally and figuratively, of the shenanigans occurring and besetting poor Rollie (Brown). Give this film a solid "8." Enjoyed the final minutes and the ending. I'm looking forward to getting a copy of the sequel.
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This Thriller Hits A "Home" Run...
Christopher T. Chase26 November 2000
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING!!!POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! It's a well-known fact that a rivalry has existed between New York and Hollywood, virtually since the first images flickered across a large screen, and that the myth has always been upheld that good movies can only be made with any sense of professionalism or competence in L.A. If F/X didn't finally put that lie to rest, then no other film would, but we all know how that turned out...

A Hitchcock-flavored vehicle for hot Aussie heartthrob Bryan Brown, his charm, good looks and machismo are used to maximum advantage to portray special effects whiz Rollie Tyler, who is hired to stage a murder by the guys at Witness Protection, to enable former gangland kingpin Nicholas DeFranco to testify before a Grand Jury against his one-time associates. In the finest tradition of anything the Master of Suspense ever did, special effects are used as a metaphor for all of the characters and situations that Rollie encounters throughout the film. Nobody turns out to be exactly who or what they appear, most of all, Our Hero...

Brown does a great job with the lead, but the most remarkable and enjoyable part of F/X is the support he gets from some of the finest actors to ever walk across a stage, or in front of a camera. Brian Dennehy gets one of his first breakout roles as the cantankerous but canny detective Leo McCarthy, who is one of the first people to navigate the twists and turns of what's happening (eagle-eyed viewers will remember his role as Chevy Chase's partner in the '70's comedy/mystery FOUL PLAY); seasoned stage vet Jerry Orbach (TV's LAW AND ORDER) makes a fine cad as mob boss DeFranco; Mason Adams (TV's LOU GRANT) and Cliff De Young are also terrific as the not-so-intrepid government guys.

Diane Venora (WOLFEN) gives a much more fleshed-out portrayal of Rollie's actress/girlfriend Ellen Keith than what was probably on the script page, and Martha Gehman as Rollie's assistant/sidekick Andy gives a quirky, naturalistic performance that would seem out of place anywhere else, but works fine here.

Even the bit parts are rendered by some of the best character actors to be plucked from the Big Apple's talent pool: Jossie De Guzman, (whose on-screen chemistry with Dennehy would be criminally wasted in the so-so sequel); Joe Grifasi as McCarthy's partner, Mickey; Roscoe Orman as Leo's gruff boss, Capt. Wallinger (from CTW's SESAME STREET, believe it or not, the same company that would produce Morgan Freeman); M'el Dowd, Trey Wilson (RAISING ARIZONA and A SOLDIER'S STORY) and Tom Noonan (MANHUNTER, ROBOCOP 2). Even future leading lights Angela Bassett and James Pickens Jr. (X-FILES, THE PRACTICE) put in some early appearances.

With all this rich casting, plus a great script by Greg Megginson and Bob Fleeman, taut direction by New York-based vet Robert Mandel and a fantastic Bill Conti score, F/X predicted a long and prosperous future for many more Manhattan Projects.

And though the effects technology seems dated now, the tricks of the trade, which were state-of-the-art for the time, were supervised by John Stears. Name not familiar? John was one of the many effects people who cut his teeth on a little independent film you may have heard of, called STAR WARS. And makeup designer Carl Fullerton would go on to apply his talents to many films, including some of the FRIDAY THE 13TH sequels, (probably the best part about those.)

A highly recommended piece of movie entertainment.
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A neat idea for a film
LONESOLO2 May 2004
F/X was a neat idea for a film. The story revolves around a special effects man recruited by the government to fake a mobsters death. The effects man is played by BRYAN BROWN and he meets the task with the enthusiasm he would for his film work until things go sour and hee gets paired with a cop named ROLLIE played by BRAIN DENNEHY. F/X works well and the inside look at the effects business works well also. Neither pretentious or boring the film gives us a hero who doesn't use a gun and instead uses a bag of special effects to battle crime. I liked F/X. I found the film to be both attention holding and imaginative; with just enough grit to make the police subplot work. The premise of the film itself is original and one of a kind. I recommend this film to fans of adventure films or a person looking the video store shelves for something different.
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10/10
FX before they were giving 'everything' away...
Benjamin Wolfe6 February 2007
Here is an eighties hit, of a great time. Man this 'story' has a lot! Two Brians, a Diane Venora, who is unconditionally into her roles, she really puts talent into her characters. Even when her 'Ellen', Rollie's friend was cut short. Rollie Tyler, is the man for special effects. He is smart and can set up the 'Set-up' with moderate to no trouble. Then comes the Wit-Sec Program people with a simple request. Put together a murder in a restaurant that would seem real. To get the Mob, off of this mobster in Wit-Sec's Back. Jerry Orbach, Nick DeFranco is the man who needs a 'Pardon' from his past. Rollie even after some thought thinks he can pull-it-off, so to speak. This is the beginning of Rollies troubles. I don't recall Orbach in a lot of tough or badguy roles, but I liked him as the wise-cracking 'wise guy'. Entering into the party mess, Leo (Dennehy) an aggressive New York cop, who doesn't like no for an answer and he doesn't like tricks. He is now on the case of the trick master. (Mason Adams) Col. Mason was quite an inter agency man. I had never seen Adams in a role like this and he creates more intrigue. His assistant and partner 'Lipton' (Cliff De Young) was a sort of trick inter agency man as well. Plays dumb really well, all the while watching everything and everyone, like a crocodile. The ending of this was a surprise as well for me and then as the closing scenes were being shown, they played the best song, I can't find it anywhere anymore. One of those superb 1980's films with a perfect wrap-up. Beautiful scenery and that 'tall' looking cinema scope effect at the movie's ending.

I recommend to those who like action, mystery and the 80's too. This is a thrill of a great time for me. (****)
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5/10
Not so Special F/X
Fluke_Skywalker26 January 2015
There's some great potential in the basic premise of this 80s cult hit conspiracy "thriller", but unfortunately its wasted by its rather shoddy execution. The first act is fairly intriguing, but things quickly begin to unravel after the plot has been hatched and by the end there are plot holes big enough to drive a semi-truck through.

Bryan Brown never quite finds his footing as our supposed hero, and then suddenly the film shoves Brian Dennehy into the mix and Brown's character suddenly finds himself in a timeshare that serves to undermine not only his character, but the entire story.

The final act fails to tie the whole conspiracy up in a satisfying way, and the end is flat-out ridiculous. All in all, 'F/X' is a big disappointment that doesn't live up to its hype.
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8/10
F/X is what good 80s action movies were all about. (minor spoilers)
Pepper Anne30 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
There was something about 80s action movies that recent films in the genre haven't been able to capitalize on. I think a lot of it has to do with lack of originality, as the genre has been notorious for an excess of remakes of old action movies or Hollywood versions of foreign action films, new or old. But, there's just something about them that aren't exciting, anymore. At least not all of them. The 80s, for me, seemed to have some of the best of the genre--The Terminator, the Mad Max trilogy, etc. F/X is one of them. A cool story with good action sequences.

Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown), special effects genius, is hired by the FBI to use his expertise in a setup to fake the death of mobster Nicholas DeFranco, who they claim is going to be their informant. However, as Tyler will soon become very familiar with, the arrangement is a hoax and the agents aren't who they seem. Unfortunately, Tyler, who thought he was doing something good, and reluctantly so, he is caught in the middle of a game of cat and mouse because he is considered "loose ends."

They kill his girlfriend in the scuffle, and Tyler soon realizes who he's up against because these guys will stop at nothing until he's dead, regardless of who they kill in the crossfire. But Tyler is no dummy. He gets smart and uses his special effects genius to keep one step ahead of the paranoid agents who want him dead. In the meantime, our middleman is Brian Dennehy as the smooth-talking detective, Leo McCarthy. He's the only one with any guts to sense foul play is afoot and the only one really willing to help out Rollie. The object of the game is to find out what kind of dirty business those crooked agents Lipton (Cliff DeYoung) and Mason (Mason Adams) are up to, and what it has to do with faking the death of a notorious mobster (Jerry Orbach).

The movie has some pretty good action and chase sequences, and the finale is a cool idea as Rollie Tyler has to use some clever special effects to put a stop to enemies. He's got a pretty big bag of tricks up his sleeves. Though a little slow at first, the real fun begins once Rollie is hired by those mysterious agents to do a job. Overall, it's a pretty cool movie with a great idea for a story.

If you enjoy this movie, you'd probably like the sequel, F/X 2, which is quite similar, using the story of Rollie Tyler being set up for another mysterious cop scheme. Only with all the corruption going on in that story, Tyler's mishaps in the first look like small potatoes. Plus, Dennehy gets a bigger part, this time teaming up with Tyler (you'll see why in the finale of F/X part 1). They're both worth a try.
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7/10
Slick fun
gcd703 July 2007
"F/X: Murder by Illusion" is a well-written, intriguing film from the pens of Gregory Fleeman and Robert T. Megginson. Their sharp narrative constantly keeps you guessing throughout the 109 minute running time. Special effects (F/X) are always entertaining, as is the cast including Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy, who are always believable, in a clever, quick-witted movie.

Robert Mandell never lets anything get out of hand, which he very easily could have given the nature of the film. Original music by "Rocky" composer Bill Conti is also very effective. I am looking forward to seeing the sequel.

Wednesday, June 26, 1991 - Video
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5/10
Even the Art of Illusion could stand a little plausibility...
moonspinner5518 September 2010
New York City crime boss, soon to go on trial against his cohorts, needs to be eliminated via simulation to distract the Mob; two government agents enlist the aid of a special effects movie-wizard to set up a phony assassination--though the 30 G's they pay him consequently includes the movie-man also pulling the trigger. This original screenplay by Robert T. Megginson and Gregory Fleeman would appear to be a real pip, at least until common sense prevails and the whole thing begins to look like a house of cards. Bryan Brown is fine in the lead, giving us a good sense of his fear and paranoia without losing his dignity, but the rest of the players do not fare as well. Brian Dennehy--portraying one of those put-upon police lieutenants always on the verge of being forced into turning in his badge--slips into wily caricature, while the ladies in the cast are used as either targets or gophers. The film has ingenuity but no spirit, and the final game of cat-and-mouse (though possibly satisfying for those attracted to movie-shorthand) strains credulity. A sequel featuring Brown and Dennehy followed five years later. ** from ****
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4/10
Unpleasant Journey with Unpleasant Companions
gmartin-21 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Given the glowing reviews for this movie, I am surprised at how much I disliked it. The movie has more than its share of glaring plot holes— some reviewers warn against examining all plot elements too closely. This is an indulgence I will (reluctantly) respect since the movie, in my opinion, has a much more serious and grating problem.

What I found off-putting about the movie is that, except for Diane Venora's brief role as Bryan Brown's girlfriend, there is not a sympathetic character to be found anywhere. Brown's character—the heart of the story after all-- starts off a likable "everyman." but becomes increasingly less so as the story proceeds until he devolves into a cold-blooded killer, indifferent to the carnage he is creating around him—- not every federal agent has to die-- and corrupt, too. In the van chase scene, he is oblivious to the public menace he is causing in using his f/x tricks. (This could have been mitigated with a single line of dialog or a look of concern; but, never mind.) I wanted to like Martha Gehman's character as Brown's assistant, but she lost me with her gleeful "I wish I could have seen the look on his face" when she tricked the pursuing detective into thinking he had run over a woman. Finally, the transformation of Brian Dennehy's character into just another corrupt cop left me with a distinct sour taste at the end of the movie. After everything is said and done, for Brown and Dennehy it's all about the money. Even Schwarzenegger was never this cynical in his movies. The last thing that bothered me is that I always presumed movie special effects were to keep the actors safe. Since here they are used to kill, it seems like a betrayal of their purpose.

On the positive side, I had no problems with the casting or acting. Maybe things improved in f/x 2. I can only hope.
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8/10
crafty movie
andreww3116 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A great cast and plot twists keep F/X moving brilliantly along. Though Bryan Brown is the star and deserves a hell of a lot of credit, his supporting cast makes the most of their small time on screen. Just departed Mason Adams, Brian Dennehy perfectly cast, Joe grifasi, Diane Venora, the guy from Sesame Street. We've all seen them before and they prove their worth here. A classic 80s movie that is enjoyable every time I see it. Not many movies shoot on location in New York City anymore. The summer locale gives the movie a familiar feel. Also, was the final scene filmed overseas and if so, why the expenditure for such a small scene? I'm not complaining, maybe the production crew and cast went on vacation to celebrate.
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5/10
Who'll Get The Last Laugh?
Ian30 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
(Flash Review)

This movie is like walking on early winter lake ice, don't jump too hard or you may fall through sketchy plot 'holes'. zing. This is one of those movies that is mildly entertaining yet if you try, you can get hung up on various odd plot points/holes. Overall, this has a rather unique and clever story approach wrapped in sub-standard 80's production quality which isn't typically a high bar. The protagonist, Rollie, is a top tier movie special effects artist and is recruited by the FBI to help stage an assassination to more easily place a person into witness protection. Rollie not only ends up in a leading role of his own real yet fake movie stunt but gets more than he bargained for. Will he be able to use his unique creativity to get himself out of a sticky situation? This movie was detective based with several twists and turns. Has some clever 80's effects scenes yet at times feels cheap with some questionable director decisions and ho-hum car chases. This also has one of the WORST acting efforts I've ever seen by the 2nd supporting female actress. She only says a few short lines but her delivery is simply laughable.
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10/10
What is the end music?
martin_webster1 January 2005
I thoroughly enjoyed this film today on TV & loved the final piece of music. I remembered it from years ago but cannot remember the artists name. I looked on the cast and crew list on this site and that did not help me find the artist. The plot really kept me guessing & I was often pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns.

What a pleasure to see Gerry Orbach.

Can anyone help me find out who the artist is?

I've tried searching on the internet, iTunes, eBay & Amazon but failed so far.

Many thanks, Martin
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8/10
8 on a scale of 10
len tinman12 April 2005
This was close to a 7 vs an 8, but I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. And, the single reason why was because it was a new idea.

Like any action movie, there are parts of it that are implausible and probably ridiculous. However, as this movie was predicated upon the good guy being an expert at misdirection, smoke and mirrors and pretend, it was relatively easy to accept many seemingly absurd events. My typical objection is when someone that is a middle manager by day gets in trouble and suddenly figures out how to wire a nuclear bomb. At least as an FX expert, you assume he can do just about anything with special effects.

Consequently, the action was good, the story was fine and the acting was adequate. Personally, I felt that the acting job by Brian Dennehey was exceptionally good and I felt he stole the show.

I would have liked to have seen a little tighter ending. I have NO idea how Brown knew where to go at the end of the movie. I felt that he was making major assumptions when he attacked the guy in the park - how did he know there weren't more of them? I can't imagine he would have hid in the boat store rather than nearby. And, so forth. But, that is par for the action course.

All in all, not bad. Certainly well worth the time on HBO.
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7/10
entertaining suspense movie
hbs30 September 2000
This movie is fun. Brown (the star) and Dennehy (introduced later in the film, but who ends up being more of a co-star) turn in very good performances (especially Dennehy, who has made quite a few movies work by his presence). The movie is tricky enough to be fun, and superficially plausible enough to not be distracting while you watch it. The effects are a little dated now, as is the general look of the movie, but it holds up well overall. Also, despite the high body count, it's not a mean-spirited movie. And you know who the good guy is and you get to root for him...
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A great mix of action, drama, and comic moments.
jprice-323 December 1999
I've always thought that this movie was very unique in that the main characters don't meet until the end of the film. This was the first film I saw with Brian Dennehy and it made him one of my favorite actors. To be sure though, he and Brown were cast very well in the lead roles and the supporting cast (with little exception) all helped in taking a strong script and turning it into a truly great film. The movie is anything but formulaic or predictable and because of this, it stands above so many movies. It will keep you guessing and glued to the screen until the very satisfying ending.
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Why you shouldn't trust authority
zeke-3411 September 1999
Provides a cautionary tale of trusting authority figures. One of the most unique and entertaining movies I've seen. Solid performances from Brian Dennehy and Bryan Brown. The ending is just and logical, although not to the old "Code".
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8/10
Inventive movie and very entertaining
FFT530511 February 1999
F/X is a highly enjoyable movie. It's not the best movie ever to come out of Hollywood, but it is original, fairly well acted and very entertaining. The only exception being the young blonde actress who plays Rollie's assistant. She is quite literally the worst actress I have ever seen. However, in its own strange way, that adds to the entertainment value of the movie. If you missed this movie when it was out, it is well worth the cost of a rental to catch it now.
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6/10
Gadgets And Bodies Galore!
leethomas-1162119 April 2018
Enough gadgetry to fill a Bond film and enough bodies to fill the city morgue! Also, some wit. But sophisticated it ain't. Succeeds because of Brown's charm (that accent!) and Dennehy's performance.
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