Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1990. Carolco Pictures. Screenplay by Peter Hyams, based on the earlier film story by Martin Goldsmith, Jack Leonard, screenplay by Earl Felton. Cinematography by Peter Hyams. Produced by Jonathan A. Zimbert. Music by Bruce Broughton. Production Design by Joel Schiller. Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick. Film Editing by James Mitchell.
Remake of the 1952 Richard Fleischer thriller has Peter Hyams still setting the main action on a cross-country train. Gene Hackman is an FBI operative sent to a woman (Anne Archer) who saw her blind date get murdered in his hotel room, hoping to convince her to testify against the mob boss who did it. She is resistant, but before she can even give her final answer her isolated Canadian cabin is attacked by a gun-wielding helicopter and Hackman has to grab her and run. They board a train under assumed names, constantly trying to avoid being discovered by the bad guys on board throughout their lengthy voyage. There are lots of twists and turns, and a few surprise characterizations, but none of them ever get your pulse racing quite high enough. The film is beautifully photographed and the performances by the two leads are thoroughly committed, but Hyams fails to get any feverish excitement out of the proceedings and the whole thing is forgotten once it is over. Great scenery, and the whole thing is gorgeous.