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CLIFFHANGER (1993 - R)
After losing a friend on a rock climbing accident, Gabe is hesitant to partake in a rescue mission in the Rocky Mountains. Throw in an old adversary, a plot twist involving armed and deadly “rescuees,” and Gabe finds himself involved in way more than he bargained for.
Director Renny Harlin's CLIFFHANGER, is a violent, but suspenseful high wire action thriller.
"An avalanche of thrills." (Jami Bernard)
Filmed high above Cortina, Italy, in the Dolomites,
has been described
It is further described by its marvelous director, Renny Harlin, "as a roller coaster ride, that was a lot of fun to make."
The story involves an experienced, if troubled,
climber called in to help rescue five endangered climbers. When
the climbers turn out to be a gang of hijackers on a treasure
hunt for boxes full of stolen money, a deadly game of mile high
cat and mouse takes place, with their lives in the balance.
To overcome this overwhelming threat from these heartless, money grubbing brutes, Sly's character, Gabe, must find his confidence from within himself once again and make sacrifices for a higher goal, to not only to beat the heinous bad guys, but to receive personal redemption.
Although set in Colorado, the film's vertigo educing mountain climbing scenes were shot in the Dolomite mountain range in Italy. The film"s stunts and "you are there-almost" photography, by Alex Thomson, really puts you into the action. If you are prone to motion sickness, you might want to consult your physician before viewing this film. Sly trained vigorously for his role with experienced mountain climbers, who also helped the cast and crew work safely during the filming. The filming itself was an adventure in itself, experienced by the cast and crew.
The action is further enhanced on film, because
the technicians used the IBM Power Visualization System, to digitally
manipulate the film for seamless special effects.
The resulting final script produced a shimmering
jewel for the action film category. "Cliffhanger" has
death defying mountain climbing, shooting, punching, plot twists
and turns, tension and adventure galore and acts of courage, bravery,
guts and determination. In other words, it has everything that
makes up a terrific, heart-pumping, thrilling action film. The
talented director, Renny Harlin, did an excellent job portraying
the story and action of this unique film, giving great direction
to the cast and crew. Harlin is no stranger to the action genre.
He directed "Die Hard 2," "A Nightmare on Elm Street
4: The Dream Master," "The Long Kiss Goodnight,"
"Deep Blue Sea," and "Driven."
Bad guy characters in action flicks often have no redeeming qualities, and are portrayed as real scumbags. However, the weakest aspect of the film is Lithgow"s overly enthusiastic performance of the oddly accented bad guy, Eric Qualen, the ruthless international terrorist, who is the cruel mastermind behind this motley gang of thugs. While over the top may work in wild comedy, (hence Lithgow"s recent Emmy for his work in the comedy, "Third Rock from the Sun"), here it just seems a bit too much. Perhaps the director, Renny Harlin, should've toned down his performance a bit. However, this minor flaw doesn"t affect the greatness of this fabulous action flick!!
This awesome mountain climbing adventure is rated R, for good reason.