Volume 90, Issue 81

Tuesday, February 18, 1997



Performances hold the power

Gazette file photo
TIE ME UP, TIE ME DOWN. Clint Eastwood stars and directs the latest mystery movie, Abolute Power

Absolute Power

Directed by Clint Eastwood
Starring Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris and Judy Davis
At Galleria, 7:10 and 9:55 p.m.

Absolute action! Absolute excitement! Absolute entertainment! Absolutely no plot! Once again the movie-goer is left to endure two hours of government conspiracy, the subsequent cover-up and the ensuing shenanigans. Yet one is inevitably left to question what is happening here and for what reason?

Absolute Power is the latest Clint Eastwood (In the Line of Fire) directorial effort, this one being an adaptation of the best-selling novel by David Baldacci. Eastwood also stars in the film and is joined by other noteworthy actors, including Gene Hackman (The Chamber), Ed Harris (The Rock) and Judy Davis (Husbands and Wives).

The all-star cast carries the redundant plot with some rather fine performances and almost allows the movie to become enjoyable. Eastwood injects humour and professionalism into Luther Whitney, a master thief and an unfortunate witness to a government killing. Hackman assumes the role of U.S. President Alan Richmond and, through practice no doubt, plays the weasel/politician/presidential role to a T, making him the guy you love to hate.

As always, morality is not a top priority in Washington. Ed Harris is seen here in a familiar law enforcement light and the super-serious role allows him to be at his best. Judy Davis is the only star who fails to shine brightly.

One major problem with the movie, aside from the lacklustre storyline, is the constant holes in the plot. There are occasions where a particular character has information he or she should have no way of knowing but takes it for granted. At other times, unlikely events occur with little if any consequences. Can you really ram a car off the cliff of a public beach without people noticing? This is where the people at Castle Rock Entertainment could really afford to spend a little extra money on screenwriting.

More money and effort go into the promotion of a movie than the movie itself. The trailers and commercials for Absolute Power are among the best around, yet as far as quality goes, the movie does not even come close.

In terms of action, however, Absolute Power more than fills its quota for a suspense/thriller. There are a few slow points in the film but overall, the film jumps from event to event, keeping (except for those not lost in the inconsistencies of the plot) the audience's attention.

Credit should also go to Eastwood for his direction. Absolute Power may be trite but it looks and feels great, especially through Eastwood's use of setting and through the direction of the cast. Admittedly though, it is the performances that do it in Absolute Power. While the concept is anything but original, the acting talents in the motion picture did manage to carry the script to produce a mildly entertaining movie.

–Yaseen Nimjee

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997