22 June 2005 | RT Firefly
A great film that was never given a fair chance.
Another little known, rarely mentioned film that for unknown reasons fell between the cracks. When atrocities like The Wild Wild West and Men In Black I & II make hundreds of millions, it is an enigma that great films such as Three O'clock High languish in obscurity. I am an avid film buff but have no recollection of this movie ever being released. It only made 3.7 mil. at the box office, I wonder if the director stepped on the wrong toes and someone intentionally tanked the project? IMDb trivia says Stephen Spielberg executive produced it, but had his name removed from the credits. That is always a negative thing in Hollywood, something done in protest. Joanou's trivia says he once punched out a studio executive on the set, could this be that set? Very strange, and what a pity, because this is a very good film. I gave it a 10 to up it's IMDb rating, though it is probably more like an 8. It has it's moments, however, that are well worth checking out, that occasionally make it worthy of a 10.
One of the more enjoyable elements of this film is the photography. Director Joanou, who started in music videos, teams up with Barry Sonnenfeld, of Coen brothers fame, and makes for some highly stylized cinematography. Though some of it might seem passé today, keep in mind at the time it was made (1987) nobody was doing anything like it. Guy Ritchie seems to have been influenced by it... 13 years later.
Superb performances by the two leads, Casey Siemaszko and especially Richard Tyson as the bully. The only time I have seen Tyson match his caliber here was in, of all things, Something About Mary, but I still think he has it in him. He plays a great heavy. The film is a bit slow now and then. Certain bits could be completely removed and the film would be better off without it. Overall it is a good film and, save a little language, safe for kids. Also, great soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. Check it out.