Siskel & Ebert was on channel 2 at 11:35pm every Sunday. Here is our weekly tribute to the two legends.
G's Take: HARD TARGET (1993) - ** 1/2 - Van Damme has turned in decent performances when nothing much is expected from him (BLOODSPORT or KICKBOXER) and he nailed playing himself in JCVD but he is well south of a good actor. Having said that, I don't think he is terrible in this role but like the film itself, he is hit and miss. This is John Woo's first big Hollywood film and unfortunately the script doesn't have the strong story or subtext of his earlier efforts. It is made up of ideas for action scenes that are never connected to a larger story. The script does give us a great villain played by Lance Henricksen in one of my favorite roles from his catalog (after ALIENS and NEAR DARK). Henricksen just chews up every scene and seems to personally loathe Van Damme. So while the story is not great, the action and Henricksen really make this film worth catching, THUMBS UP.
G's Take: FACE/OFF (1997) - *** - This is John Woo's best film from Hollywood. Though the science behind the film doesn't make a lot of sense, it also doesn't need to. This is a vehicle for Cage and Travolta to embrace their crazy and unload clip after clip and it works really well. FACE/OFF has one of my favorite shoot-outs of all time (the loft shoot-out set to Somewhere Over the Rainbow) that comes as Cage and Travolta come face to face in their new shells. I think this film is technically brilliant in the way it approaches the action on both land and sea. This is a smart action film with great performances by the two leads. THUMBS UP!
See you on forty deuce,