I’m a huge Gene Hackman fan and I remembered seeing this film many years ago and thinking it was quite cool, and when I saw the title in the paper again, I thought I would find out how right I was.
Well Hackman is once again excellent. He has such a natural and believeable way about him in his roles that I find it hard not to be drawn into his character. He’s definitely one of those actors who always plays himself, but it doesn’t matter as his ability and style just carry it off without a thought. A truly great actor in my mind.
Matt Dillon is also very good, although his younger trademark look of startled deer is ever present.
The plot itself is a good one, in that Hackman plays Dillons father, a boring and very dull man with an equally dull job, in his sons eyes anyway. What quickly transpires is that he is not the speed limit sticking man that his son first thought, he is actually a ex CIA agent.
This change is done very well, with a short set piece in an airport. With the smallest of physical changes, Hackman flips from average father to confident and action ready agent. You can see it in his manner, and it shows his excellent capability as an actor.
The rest of the movie reveals the story as father and son are pulled deeper and deeper into his life, revealing the true extent of his agent activities. His son quickly realises that this is not the father he knew, and quickly grows from offhandedness to total rejection and then to acceptance again.
It is an interesting movie, and the plot is quite good with some interesting action sequences. Where it fails are some of the other actors and the hectic pace of the movie, it seems as though either in filming or editing that crucial parts of the movie have been missed or removed.
Big shame, but it is still good to watch for a Sunday afternoon movie. I think this may kick off my watch every Gene Hackman movie campaign.