"One of Mr. Eastwood's extremely rare disappointments."
One Hollywood icon you’ll never see me disrespect is Mr. Clint Eastwood. Few actors have so smoothly (and so successfully) made the transition from Matinee Idol to A-List Director while still retaining the early-career charm that made him so popular in the first place.Eastwood’s starred in over 50 films and has directed another 25 - so it’s only logical that a few of them end up…let’s say “less than great”. And despite its loyal fanbase, I’d have to offer up the outdated and somewhat dull Firefox for addition to that list.
Set in the halcyon days of the early 80s cold war, Firefox tells the tale of an intrepid Vietnam vet who is enlisted to steal the Soviet Union’s newest military toy: a mega-swanky high-end fighter jet that also has the ability to turn itself invisible! Sounds like the setting for an action-packed white-knuckler, eh? Sadly no. Certainly there are a few moments of intrigue and tension, but those moments are unfortunately overwhelmed by a nagging deovtion to exposition, chit-chat, talk, chatter, and lots more exposition.
Firefox runs a healthy 135 minutes, most of it (much as I hate to say it) deadly dull. At his best, Eastwood is a hypnotic screen presence; Firefox represents the opposite. Directorially, there’s much to appreciate here; Eastwood has a keen eye for gloomy lighting and clealry knows where he wants to point his camera. I suspect the problem here lies in the bloated screenplay and an editor who could have been asked to give the end product two more passes.
Based on the novel by Craig Thomas (and adapted by Alex Lasker and William Wellman), Firefox is a simple case of three or four extremely worthwhile sequences mired amidst an overbaked and rambling narrative. The fact that the film’s politics are woefully outmoded doesn’t necessarily prevent one from enjoying it (it’s not the film’s fault that time marches on); it’s that the flick as a whole is fairly dry and arid and fairly uneventful.Once the chases kick in and the invisible jet shows up, you’ll have already withstood a healthy amount of yawns for your troubles.