Saturday, 13 November 2010

Film Review: CLIFFHANGER (1993)

Director: Renny Harlin
Running time: 106 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK release date: 25th June 1993

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 13th November 2010.


I have seen this film quite a few times before, but this is the first time I’ve attempted to review it. It’s quite interesting seeing films that you haven’t seen for a while; you tend to notice things that you missed before. This is no exception, for instance, I hadn’t realised that British actor Craig Fairbrass was even in it until watching it this time! But I digress, here’s a short summary first (summary haters: this next paragraph is just a figment of your imagination).

Rescue worker Gabe Walker is about to give up his job after losing a climber in a rescue attempt a year ago. He has returned to clear out his stuff from the house he shared with his girlfriend Jessie Deighan when a call comes in. Some hikers are trapped on a mountain, the weather is too bad to get the helicopter out and Gabe is persuaded to go and help. His former friend Hal Tucker is also on the rescue attempt. Little do they know, the people they are heading to rescue are robbers who, after a failed hijacking, are now on the hunt for their loot. Their leader is Eric Qualen, a psychotic killer who is very determined to find the money as quickly as possible. He is aided, amongst others, by US Treasury employee turned bad, Richard Travers who has a tracking device for the three cases of cash. Walker and Tucker get separated and, while the gang keep Tucker as a guide, it’s up to Walker, who is later joined by Jesse, to try and get to the money before they do. They know that when the bad guys found all of the cases they will kill Tucker.

There is some stunning scenery in this film; the helicopter flying shots are particularly good. The special effects are maybe not quite up to the standard we are used to today, but still passable. There is also some great stunt work, hats off to those guys! Decent performances all round, particularly from Sylvester Stallone as Gabe Walker, John Lithgow real bad-ass as Eric Qualen and Michael Rooker as Hal Tucker. Honourable mentions go to; Janine Turner as Jessie Deighan, Rex Linn as Richard Travers and nice to see Ralph Waite as Frank.

I thought John Lithgow was particularly good as the bad guy; he really made the audience hate his character. Plenty of thrills and spills and I like the way the tension is slowly built up throughout. Although it looks a little dated by today’s standards, still a pretty enjoyable watch and overall… recommended.

My score: 6.7/10

IMDb Page:

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