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Switchback (1997)
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Review Date: June 26, 1998
Director: Jeb Stuart
Writer: Jeb Stuart
Producers: Gale Anne Hurd
Actors:
Danny Glover as Bob Goodall
Dennis Quaid as Frank LaCrosse
Jared Leto as Lane Dixon
Plot:
This movie is cut into two stories, which alternatively switch back and forth from one another (hence-Switchback). The first has an extremely serious FBI agent (Quaid) tracking down a serial killer, while the second deals with a hitchhiker (Leto) and his transportation savior (Glover) trekking across the snowy mountains on their way to Utah. The identity of the killer is what engulfs the rest of the movie.
Critique:
Overly long, barely interesting retread of a dozen other serial killer movies, this picture offers us as much excitement as Dennis Quaid's stiff demeanor (Dennis might think that his cold look made him look serious, but really it just made him boring.) This film was interesting at first, as you try to figure out who the killer and/or his motivations might be, but eventually (after the first hour or so), you start to realize that this explanation will not come until the very end, and by then, you just don't care anymore. I think I see what the writer was trying to do here, in that he wanted to keep the audience guessing throughout the entire movie, but unfortunately, there aren't enough effective scenes, action sequences, or possible suspects to really keep it interesting for that duration. In the end, you're just begging for the damn thing to finish!

And even after its conclusion, I still found myself wondering about the actual motivations of the serial killer, which were never really explained, and/or why so much of the story focused on the local sheriff and not on a more interesting character like Quaid's wife or something. On top of all that, the typical Hollywood sugar-pie ending further impressed this script's unoriginal nature into my negative point of view.

In regards to the acting, I would have to give Danny Glover some points for taking on this kooky role, but take plenty others away from Quaid who just hasn't been able to punch in a decent acting gig since he gave that piss-awful over-performance as Jerry Lee Lewis in GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! back in 1989. Maybe he should give up the day job, and allow his wife Meg "the cutest human being on the face of this Earth" Ryan to support their family. The man's facial expression didn't change once during this entire picture.

The atmosphere of the film was actually well manufactured, and the sights were pretty to behold, but that would be it in regards to praise for this film. Other than that, I suppose one could get a little into the movie, if one were really a mystery buff, but even then, the movie just drags, and drags, and drags. No extreme graphic violence either. Now if you're looking for an excellent serial killer mystery with some great action, suspense and atmosphere, pick up David Fincher's wonderfully rainy SEVEN (10/10) starring the ever-loveable Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
Strikeback
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