Volume 91, Issue 20

Wednesday, October 1, 1997



Kidman and Clooney make peace with noise

By Tara Dermastja
Gazette Writer

Ten nuclear warheads are missing and one is detonated when two trains collide somewhere in Russia, leaving thousands dead. Accident or terrorist-action, you can't be sure from the start. But if you're not paying close attention to all of the action and violence – you might as well be watching a Disney flick.

The beginning of The Peacemaker, the latest film directed by Mimi Leder, centres around the overused themes of politics, corruption and (you guessed it) love. Sound familiar? Probably because they are also the basis of about half of the movies in theatres today.

Nicole Kidman is Julia Kelly, an intelligent and beautiful doctor of sorts who is put second-in-command to the President and continues barking orders without flinching. Her job description (which might pass some viewers by) seems to fall under the general category of helping the U.S. government save the world from terrorists and their bombs. Unfortunately, Kidman's one flaw in the film is her slight tendency to speak both with an Australian accent and an American one.

George Clooney is Lt. Col. Tom Devoe, a witty specialist in the field of violence who enjoys spending American taxpayers' money. As Kidman's partner-in-crime, Clooney has switched from saving Gotham City from Mr. Freeze, to protecting his country from Russian men in black. Nevertheless, his performance should be credited for helping The Peacemaker stand its ground at the box office.

Thankfully, there are two aspects of the film which help separate it from most other Hollywood action-packed movies. First, the music, mastered beautifully by Hans Zimmer, is a mixture between suspense (car chases, bombs exploding) and extreme emotion, as seen in the painful scenes involving Kidman, Clooney and lots of tears.

Secondly, the support acting, lead by Marcel Iures and Armin Mueller-Stadt (Shine) should be described as nothing less than a notch below an Oscar nomination. And was that Antonio Bandaras as one of the bad guys or just another really gorgeous actor?

In general, The Peacemaker surpasses expectations with its hi-tech gadgets and thorough knowledge of U.S., Russian and Bosnian affairs. However, while each detail has been scrupulously attended to, sometimes too many ideas are presented in too little time to be understood. In fact, the audience may need to sit in the movie theatre while the credits are rolling to help sort out all the information before leaving.

Problems aside, this is one movie many people will find themselves compelled to watch simply because of the cast and potential violence described on the poster. If you do decide to pay the $8 for the movie, grab a hold of some popcorn, a good seat in centre row and ignore the Hollywood hype. Because besides the glamour and make-up of Clooney and Kidman – there's a story worth learning.

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

Copyright The Gazette 1997