Drop Zone: “plenty of stuntvlork' Q Despite the traumas of Passenger 57, Wesley Snipes takes to the skies once again in John Badham’s latest thriller j as a US marshal who has to infiltrate the offbeat world of skydiving to stop a high-flying gang of criminals.
Pete llessip (Snipes) is helping his brother Terry (The Cosby Show’s Malcolm-Jamal Warner) escort a computer expert, turned state witness, ; to a safe jail, when the Boeing 747 they are on is hijacked. Terry is killed and the baddies disappear with their hacker colleague. The authorities on
the ground are fooled into believing the prisoner was killed in the subsequent explosion and dismiss Pete’s theory that the hijackers parachuted off the plane, suspending him in the process. Naturally this
2 doesn’t prevent the now ex-cop from
carrying out his own enquiries. Employing similar action sequences
to those that made Point Break a
qualified success, the movie is at its
best when the plot goes airborne. With
plenty of stuntwork, flying cameras and only a modicum of studio-bound back projection, there is usually
'; something to stare open-mouthed at. Snipes acquits himself well as a
leading man, adept at the necessary fisticufis but not averse to being the occasional object of fun.
, The villains, led by the ever-fine Gary 4 5 Busey, are reliably villainous, and
Yancy Butler, as the expert sky-diver
who befriends Pete, manages to avoid being just a female foil to the hero. In
fact, the expected romantic sub-plot
4 fails to materialise at all. Maybe the
filmmakers feel their audience isn’t
ready for inter-racial canoodling, but ', in a formula-loving genre picture like this, there seems to be something
Q missing when the guy doesn’t get the
girl. (Simon Wardell)
Drop Zone (15) (John Badham, US,
i 1994) Wesley Snipes, Gary Busey,
; Yancy Butler. 102 mins. From Fri 24. j General release.
E31113)!— LES BOSEAUX SAUVAGES
Winner of the French César for the best film of the year, André Téchiné’s follow-up to the starry My Saison Préférée is a touching and beautifully observed ensemble portrait of French provincial adolescence in 1962, just one in a series of films by different directors commissioned by French television for a series titled ‘Tous les garcons et les filles de leur age’. Translated as Wild Reeds, the title intimates something of the film’s thematic terrain - that period of youth when sexual uncertainty meets political intransigence - but the richness and sensitivity oi the piece are too complex to be inscribed in a simple tag-line. There’s something of Renoir in the way Téchiné gets inside his quartet of main characters, unfolding the rolling emotional contours of the narrative with unforced mastery and, at the same time, otferlng us a recreation of a time and a place that’s unobstrusive in its means, compelling in its potency of evocation.
The arrival of French-Algerian Gorny in Villeneuve-sur-Lot’s local chée is
the catalyst for the life-shaping events that are to follow. llis unswerving allegiance to the quasi- fascist, anti-independence forces prompts everyone to reassess their own personal position on the colonial conflict; moreover, his nervy intensity attracts classmate Morel (confirming the intimations of his homosexuality felt in his desires for farm boy Rideau) while striking another physical chord in the unlikely shape of communisit teacher’s daughter Bouchez (throwing the sexual and political into direct conflict). The throng of inter-personal tensions reaches a satisfying but hard-won conclusion when the foursome in question go for a swim in the nearby river on the day the exam results are due: an ordinary event perhaps, but Téchiné gives it a weight and luminosity you’ll remember long after. A magnificent achievement. (Trevor Johnston)
Les Roseaux Sauvages (15) (André Téchiné, France, 1993) Frederic Gorny,
les Boseaux Sauvages: ‘beautifully observed’ ;
Gaol Morel, Elodie Bouchez. 113 mins. From Fri 31: Glasgow Film Theatre. From Fri 7: Edinburgh Filmhouse. i
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The List 24 Mar-(3 Apr 1995 21