It's odd to like an original film and then like the re-make equally so, if not more, but that's the case with this film. I have viewed both versions of this film at least three times apiece and thoroughly enjoy both.
Almost 55 years ago, this was a film noir called "The Narrow Margin" and in 1990, this re-make took off the "The" on the title. However, as is sometimes the case with remakes, some of the twists and turns of this thriller were also changed from the first film.
They didn't spoil it. I have no objection to the changes made here because the bottom line is entertainment, and that's where this movie excels. Plausible? No, but neither was the original, for that matter, and neither are a lot of suspense/ crime films.
What makes this re-run good, in addition to the great suspense, are several other things: 1 - Gene Hackman, one of the best actors of his generation and often overlooked in discussions of great actors; 2 - nice photography featuring some great train shots and the scenic Canadian Rockies; 3 - an interesting assortment of characters, some of which keep you guessing whether they are the good guys or the bad guys; 4 - a dash of humor thrown in here and there to break the tension.
In addition to Hackman, we see the sexy Anne Archer, who gives a nice film noir feel to the movie and we get some good supporting performances including two from guys with the same last name: J.T. and Emmet Walsh and one from a guy who plays one of the hit men: James Sikking. That's a name I'm not familiar with, but he has a scene talking to Hackman that is riveting.
The main fault of the movie at least to me, was the "Rambo" mentality in which I mean the villains have the good guy in point-blank, can't-miss range several times and....you guessed it: they miss. The action scenes in here are great but lack credibility, or this would be almost as good as it could ever get for a "thriller." I'm still tempted to rate it a "10" for the entertainment value alone.
42 out of 48 found this helpful