HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Vicious Fun
Unearth
Circumstantial Pleasures
Tyger Tyger
Filmmaker's House, The
Man Standing Next, The
Rock, Paper and Scissors
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
   
 
Newest Articles
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
   
 
  Striking Distance Water Man
Year: 1993
Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: Bruce Willis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Farina, Tom Sizemore, Brion James, Robert Pastorelli, Timothy Busfield, John Mahoney, Andre Braugher, Tom Atkins, Mike Hodge, Jodi Long, Roscoe Orman, Robert Gould, Gareth Williams, Ed Hooks, Lawrence Mandley
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pittsburgh 1991, and there is a serial killer at large in the city who murders young women and dumps their bodies in the river, yet the cops are powerless to prevent any more deaths by his hand for he is wily enough to evade capture time and again. However, one of their number, Detective Tom Hardy (Bruce Willis), has his own theory, he believes the criminal is a policeman who is using his knowledge of the force’s methods to succeed in pulling off his misdeeds and someone high up in the ranks may be covering this up. Hardy is already in trouble with his peers for blowing the whistle on the brutality of his partner Jimmy Detillo (Robert Pastorelli), so is getting nowhere with his contributions to the inquiries, but then something happens to make it personal…

One of those anonymous, sounds like it means something but doesn’t really titles suggests nineteen-nineties action cinema, and that was precisely what this was, though it didn’t start out that way for Striking Distance began life as a serious crime drama penned for either Ed Harris or Robert de Niro, but then Bruce Willis stepped aboard and it became an action flick instead. A particularly troubled one at that, with the accusations flying thick and fast, many of them aimed at Willis who reputedly tried to take over the production and rewrite scenes, then include whole new ones, tailored to the way he thought would show him to his best advantage. Test audiences disagreed and the film was pushed into reshoot hell.

By this time Willis really didn’t want to be there and director Rowdy Herrington, the man who gave the world cult favourite Road House, bore the brunt of the criticism – it was safe to say he never helmed such a big production again, so his career may have suffered when this finally made it to cinemas and proved a big flop. On the other hand, somebody certainly liked it and as an easy to watch, undemanding and frankly somewhat absurd action outing it did pick up fans down the years, not that they were much in evidence when it was initially embarrassing its makers in 1993, but that’s often the way with these efforts, if there had been enough obvious expense wasted on it at the time, it would attract the interest of your average action junkies.

There were quite a few more audiences less than convinced, and it did come across as if the studio had panicked with what they had when those tests were going so badly so fell back on as many clichés as they could, playing it safe when something more over the top would have at least have made it distinctive. Even so, among the tired, hackneyed tropes of your hardboiled, maverick, heavy drinking maverick cop pitting his wits against a serial killer with a grudge who taunts him with messages left at the scene of the crime, not forgetting one, solitary significant role for a woman (Hardy’s new partner, Jo Christman, not a religious superhero but generic annoyance turned girlfriend material played by Sarah Jessica Parker) who naturally had to get kidnapped come the grand finale, there was such an adherence to convention that this became almost self-parodic.

It was as if the filmmakers had thought, well, we tried to create something distinctive and that didn’t work out, so how about we just throw up all those other action movie conventions and call it a day? Which may well have been what they did, the sole element that made this stand out from the crowd being the location, as Hardy gives up the case against the serial killer when the trail goes cold and he loses his father, also a lawman (John Mahoney), in a climactic chase after the villain (complete with motor vehicles jumping like grasshoppers) that happened to be set at the beginning of the story. He then goes to work for the river patrol, giving rise to such scenes as patrolling as hard as he could by beating up and shooting criminals in an elaborate aside to prove his credentials, or a pursuit between his craft and a car (when was The Simpsons’ Knight Boat skit again?). But as the murders have started up again two years later, it was only a matter of time before the showdown, with a twist that was truly idiotic and a conclusion that saw the killer as difficult to dispatch as Jason Vorhees. So not terrific, but it wasted ninety minutes or so without any thought necessary. Music by Brad Fiedel. Wait – Tom Hardy?!
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1509 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: