Fearless (1994)

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 02/02/99 11:07:37

"If there's any doubt that Peter Weir can direct..."
4 stars (Worth A Look)

I can't recall the last time I saw Jeff Bridges in a film that was God-awful. In Big Lebowski he was quietly funny, in Fisher King he was perfect, and in Fearless he's quite superb again.

As "The Samaritan", a man who faces death in a plane crash and in surviving finds he has no fear, or even belief in death, Bridges underplays it like he has in no other role. His wife, Isabella Rosselini, doesn't understand his weird new outlook on life, but a fellow crash survivor, played by Rosie Perez, knows far better where he's coming from. They try to find a point to their lives as the rest of the world fights over court settlements and other 'less important' worldy events.

This film certainly isn't what you'd call fast-paced, in fact it fairly dawdles, but for a spiritual quest you wouldn't really have it any other way. Perez is a lot less annoying than she's historically reknowned for, with only an occasional high pitched moment where you fear she's going to start screaming "MOOKIE!".

The one problem with the film seems to be that it loses direction occasionally, but hidden by the slow pace it's often tough to notice the slips. The last act of the film is where it's true brilliance lies, but to go into it would be to give it all away. Suffice it to say that after a smiling start the film enters sadness and then inspiration.

Mixed messages and the fact that small attention spans will be yawning early stop Fearless from getting the highest honor in my eyes, but it's certainly something that everyone should try on a rainy Saturday night, especially if spiritual exploration is your thing.

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