25 March 2002 | mentalcritic
The Academy obviously hasn't seen this film...
You know an actor is in trouble when he gives a less convincing or heartfelt performance than Ice-T, and yet the Academy saw fit to award this film an Oscar for his later performance in a film that looks like a mere extension of the gangland visit scene in this wreck. I swear, the Oscars get more meaningless with each passing year.
John Lithgow puts in a fine performance as the bad guy, but in the end, you wind up rooting for him because Denzel Washington's acting makes one believe that he just doesn't give a damn. Hasn't anyone else noticed that he plays every single role he gets, regardless of its dimensions, exactly the same? Unlike other actors who do this, such as Russell Crowe or Jack Nicholson, he cannot even do it in an interesting way.
One thing this film does have going for it is the violence, which was graphic enough to get the film an R-rating in Australia during a period when the OFLC was a touch more relaxed, but unfortunately there is not enough of it to make the film interesting to watch, as was the case in Virtuosity (another steamer in which Washington is out-acted by the pot plants).
I used to enjoy Ricochet as a guilty pleasure, but after seeing Denzel Washington get the highest of accolades for a film that was out of theatres here almost as quickly as it was released, I won't be watching it again. It only gets a five out of ten from me for John Lithgow's devilish performance.