Movie Reviews By Bil Antoniou
Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 1997. Columbia Pictures Corporation. Story by Kevin Jarre, Screenplay by David Aaron Cohen, Vincent Patrick, Kevin Jarre. Cinematography by Gordon Willis. Produced by Robert F. Colesberry, Lawrence Gordon. Music by James Horner. Production Design by Jane Musky. Costume Design by Bernie Pollack. Film Editing by Tom Rolf, Dennis Virkler.
Much publicity was given to this Irish-American drama upon its release because of production delays escalating the costs to unreasonable proportions ($90-odd million dollars, ridiculous at the time for a drama without any significant visual effects), including endless changes to the original shooting script and a constantly postponed release date. Unfortunately, all the negative influences on the shooting of Alan J. Pakula’s last film show up on screen, and what emerges is an uneven and unmemorable rehash of the superior Patriot Games. Brad Pitt is solid as an undercover IRA agent sent to America to obtain weapons for the army to use back home. He stays with unsuspecting Irish-American cop Harrison Ford and his family while completing his mission, one that isn’t going to go well when Ford finds out the truth (and of course you know he will!) Pitt’s counterpart in Patriot Games, Sean Bean, wasn’t given this much breadth to show such sympathy, and for that reason the film should be commended, but beyond that it just doesn’t make enough sense or have enough impact. Ford joined the project later in the game than Pitt, and upon doing so decided that he wouldn’t play the role unless the writers beefed up his part,so for the first half of the movie you’re stuck watching completely useless scenes of him on the job.