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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.5%
Worth A Look: 25%
Pretty Bad: 17.5%
Total Crap: 2.5%

2 reviews, 28 user ratings

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by Scott Weinberg

"One of Mr. Eastwood's extremely rare disappointments."
3 stars

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 And despite its loyal fanbase, I’d have to offer up the outdated and somewhat dull Firefox for addition to that list.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.

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originally posted: 04/30/04 20:10:01
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User Comments

4/18/16 void Mildly entertaining relic of the cold war. 4 stars
7/23/13 Durwood If you think it's boring, it's only because your mind is too feeble to catch the nuances. 5 stars
4/07/13 The Big D An intelligent action film--you don't find many of them these days. 5 stars
8/29/12 Dr.Lao In a word, forgettable 2 stars
2/04/08 Pamela White Clint is the only reason to see this more than once 3 stars
12/08/07 Screwball Dull ! 2 stars
9/28/07 mr.mike recall liking it more than most people -or critics- did. 4 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini not eastwoods best 3 stars
8/13/05 Ric Some good aerial chases towards the end, but Blue Thunder is way more fun than this flick. 3 stars
5/01/04 y2mckay Boring as hell until he (finally) steals the plane. Way longer than it needed to be. 2 stars
12/25/03 Sugarfoot BORING! 1 stars
12/04/03 john a guilty pleasure good in parts but an awful score 3 stars
9/27/03 Ross Glenn Solid spy flick with great cinematography 4 stars
9/23/03 Sam Moszynski A few slow moments, but still enjoyable. 4 stars
6/27/03 cochese I must agree, better than any Bond film. A must see for any spy lover. 5 stars
3/19/03 Jack Sommersby The flying scenes are nifty, but the endless minutes leading up to them are deathly dull. 2 stars
10/24/02 Charles Tatum Great change of pace for Eastwood 5 stars
9/25/02 Steve If you ever read the novel back in the late 70's, you would appreciate this film. 4 stars
7/19/02 Shams Huque A good film. 4 stars
1/21/02 Hatten A deliberately-plotted espionage/action flick, perhaps Eastwood's most misunderstood film. 5 stars
11/06/01 Richard B. Ford great spy flick; better then Bond 4 stars
6/27/01 R.W. Welch Not bad but too far-fetched to really get into. 3 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla average spy film, still it was a pretty cool plane 4 stars
6/12/00 happyhappyjoyjoy You have to like how they killed most of the good guys 4 stars
5/19/00 tank An experiment in the Eastwood oeuvre. His worst film. 2 stars
12/04/98 Lord Of The Dunce Without the crappy effects, it was still weak as warm milk. 2 stars
12/01/98 Silent Rob I've always liked this film for it's rather accurate approach to espionage. So-so FX! 4 stars
11/30/98 Steve McCune Fake plane; predictable story. 2 stars
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