HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
   
 
Newest Articles
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
   
 
  Borderline One million Mexicans must answer to BronsonBuy this film here.
Year: 1980
Director: Jerrold Freedman
Stars: Charles Bronson, Wilford Brimley, Bruno Kirby, Ed Harris, Michael Lerner, Bert Remsen, Kenneth McMillan, Karmin Murcelo, Norman Alden, John Ashton, Charles Cyphers, Enrique Castillo
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Each year millions of illegal Mexican immigrants attempt to sneak into the United States. Jeb Maynard (Charles Bronson) is a border patrol agent who becomes involved in a murder investigation when a human trafficker called Hotchkiss (Ed Harris) shotguns a snooping agent (Wilford Brimley) along with an innocent Mexican boy caught in the crossfire. Aided by his new, young partner Jimmy Fantes (Bruno Kirby), Jeb investigates and uncovers a well-organized, million dollar operation specialised in smuggling illegal immigrants.

Not to be confused with the 1950 Fred MacMurray thriller or the 2002 Gina Gershon film and not likely the inspiration behind a certain Madonna song (unless Madge is a closet Bronson fan), Borderline was among a spate of border patrol thrillers released in the early Eighties. Other notable examples include Tony Richardson’s The Border (1982) starring Jack Nicholson and Border Cop (1980) with Telly Savalas. The sudden influx of illegal immigrants around this time roused a xenophobia amidst the Reagan administration that lingers on the American political landscape to this day. Opting for a low-key, semi-documentary style, director Jerrold Freedman - a solid TV hand since the early Seventies whose only notable big screen credits include the atypically downbeat Raquel Welch vehicle Kansas City Bomber (1972) and the interesting racial drama Native Son (1986) - and cinematographer Tak Fujimoto depict unsettling scenes of immigrants being herded by helicopters and blithely referred to as “wet backs” by world-weary, but not insensitive border guards. “Sleep tight, America. Your tax dollars are hard at work”, remarks one patrolman, sarcastically.

Neither right wing nor especially liberal, the film nevertheless takes a sympathetic look at immigrants and explicitly condemns those seeking to profit from their plight. Hotchkiss is a crazed Vietnam veteran, as cynical about the American dream as the immigrants are desperate to achieve it. He and his superior, Carl Richards (Bert Remsen) both work for business tycoon Henry Lydell (Michael Lerner), a classic Eighties entrepreneur. Lydell saw an open market and filled it. He dreams of the day cheap migrant labour will be listed on the commodities exchange as a legitimate business. For him, it’s all about the profit margins and to hell with the human cost.

This is a rare Bronson movie where our stone-faced hero relies on his keen deductive skills rather than brute force, and the emphasis is on unravelling a complex murder mystery instead of meting out vigilante justice. Bronson remains his usual laconic, hard-bitten self but also exhibits some rarely showcased sensitivity when dealing with bereaved mother Elena Morales (Karmin Murcelo). The film gives us a telling glimpse of Jeb’s lonely life, living in a near-empty apartment on a diet of TV dinners and beer. It bears the usual cop film clichés: the veteran killed with two months left till retirement, the callow but idealistic youth partnered with the cynical but experienced older guy; but proves strong on disturbing peripheral details like the Mexican maid hidden beside the engine in a wealthy old woman’s car till she is scorched by steam. The script packs a few neat plot twists: the villains throw the border patrol off the scent by staging a fake drugs haul and Jeb goes undercover on the other side of the border, essentially reliving the immigrant experience first hand. However, the film never suggests Jeb’s opinions have been significantly altered by these events, leaving it more an intriguing thriller set amidst the backdrop of illegal immigration instead of a rigorous examination of a complex social issue.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2097 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: