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Thunder Point
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by Chris Parry

"Kyle MacLachlan - action hero. What next, Camryn Manheim - bikini queen?"
1 stars

A treasure hunter finds the submarine that Nazis supposedly used to escape from Hitler’s bunker with secret papers that will bring about the second coming of nazi glory. When he comes up from the ocean floor with the barnacle covered suitcase, the world seems to be after him as bad guys with German accents run around brandishing pistols and driving black cars and wielding razors. But can the good guys be trusted? Do you even care? Thunder Point is Kyle MacLachlan’s chance to be Michael Dudikoff at last. And he does a pretty good Dudikoff impression – he stinks.

MacLachlan’s character is a man with a dark past asked to come back and serve his country by finding the treasure hunter’s soon orphaned daughter (Pascale Bussieres) and protect the Nazi suitcase. Hey, that’s never been done before, that whole getting a criminal out of jail because “he’s the only one who can do the job” routine. That’s smart plot thinkin’. They must have had some geniuses writing this project. Either that or some dude called Earl who works part time at Blockbuster.

So MacLachlan plays it all tough while he macks on ‘little girl suitcase’, all the while playing both sides against each other and managing to convince the object of his affection, at every turn, that he’s actually a bad guy. Of course, despite the fact that this underground Nazi network is supposed to be huge, the same five or six guys always show up to try to kill MacLachlan and his woman. And in true bad guy form, they don’t just kill them when they get to them, they brandish a straight razor, talk tough for a little while and figure out a way to screw up just at the wrong time.

This film is to action movies what professional wrestling is to sports. It’s formulaic, fake and you just know that every three minutes the bad guy will drop his guard and get it in the teeth from the good guy, who will then in turn drop his guard three minutes later and get it in the ass from the bad guy. Repeat ad nauseum, big good guy finish, big applause from the crowd.

In fact, a little pro wrestling style might have helped this flick, which suffers greatly from poor casting, poor writing and hokey bad guys. Being as it was a Montreal production, the usual routine of needing to fill the cast sheet with canucks in order to get government funding for the project is in evidence, with the unknown Pascale Bussieres filling a spot that might have been better filled by someone you’d recognize in a phone booth.

Unnecessarily violent and barely erotic, apparently this flick was adapted from a Jack Higgins novel, and not having read any Higgins, I can safely assume that he’s either a total hack or the people that adapted his book wouldn’t know a good screenplay if it climbed out of their ear and announced with the aid of a megaphone, “I AM A GOOD SCREENPLAY!”

To hell with it. I’m not getting paid enough to beat this film up like I could, suffice to say it stinks and deserves to be forgotten immediately. Go on, forget it. Right now. Hum a Beatles song or something. Think about your favorite Smurf. See? You’ve forgotten it already.

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originally posted: 11/25/02 11:57:55
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User Comments

10/15/05 Tony Accardi Don't fail to miss it. Pretty actors don't make good movie tough guys. 1 stars
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  30-May-1998 (R)


  02-Feb-1999 (R)

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