(out of 5)
Meryl Streep takes her husband (David Strathairn) and son (Joseph Mazzello) on a white water-rafting trip for the first time since her teenage days, when it was her job as a guide. She’s thrown into the deep end when a trio of bad guys led by Kevin Bacon take the family hostage and force her to raft them down a breakneck canyon pass in order to elude the authorities that they have been outrunning. Director Curtis Hanson doesn’t let this exciting film flag for a second, superbly keeping the editing tight and the tension at the highest possible maximum. All the success of the film, however, is due to the brilliance of Streep in the lead: she paddles and grunts with the best of them, showing the kind of tough attitude and forthright leadership that would have Schwarzenegger on his knees begging for mercy.
Directed by Curtis Hanson
Screenplay by Denis O’Neill
Cinematography by Robert Elswit
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Production Design by Bill Kenney
Costume Design by Marlene Stewart