28 December 2017 | Hey_Sweden
Offers no surprises, but entertains in capable fashion.
Gene Hackman plays Green Beret sergeant Johnny Gallagher; stationed in Germany, he receives the order to escort a habitually rebellious soldier (Tommy Lee Jones) back to the States for a court-martial. When the soldier, or "package", escapes from him, Johnny realizes that some sort of master conspiracy is going on, and that he basically got used. With both police and the military after him, he will be able to rely on just a select few people for assistance, including his ex-wife Eileen (who is herself in the military), and his old friend Milan Delich (Dennis Franz), a lieutenant with the Chicago P.D.
Somewhat under rated, among the scattering of classics on director Andrew Davis' resume, "The Package" is a slick conspiracy thriller melding themes of political intrigue and paranoia. Written by John Bishop, it's not a great story at all, but it is pretty entertaining. Even this viewer had an idea fairly early on where the story was headed, and it didn't exactly prove him wrong.
Still, it's pretty easy to watch, thanks to typically sharp direction by Davis, efficient pacing, and excellent use of both German and Chicago locations. The Windy City was Davis' old stamping ground, and he uses a number of his repertory players (you'll certainly recognize some of them). Hackman is an engaging hero, and he and the effervescent Cassidy do have some nice chemistry. Jones, in the first of his three collaborations with Davis, gets to have some fun, and be somewhat enigmatic; his character is a total mercenary, yet you never really learn much about him. Franz has one of his best feature film roles, and is allowed to head into the final battle right at Hackmans' side. Pam Grier and Reni Santoni are somewhat under utilized, but John Heard, Kevin Crowley, Ron Dean, Nathan Davis (Andrews' father), Chelcie Ross, Joe Greco, and Marco St. John comprise a very fine supporting cast. Heard, in particular, exudes pompous villainy in a subtle way. You don't see him chewing on the scenery.
All in all, good fun, although it's the kind of thing that might not hold up to any intense scrutiny from the viewer.
Seven out of 10.