Here's the Hollywood pitch I imagined for this flick (slightly twisted): OK let's do a disaster flick like Armegeddon only we include every worn out, overcliched character archetype known to Hollywood. That way we can just cut and paste from the scripts of a dozen "B" movies and not have to pay anyone to write a script! Each character is perfectly predictable in their behavior just based on the fact you've seen these characters sooo many other times. I think the key to including these cornerstone characters without making people puke is to disguise them at least a little. Some movie-goers make a hobby out of analyzing each character to determine which archetype they are based on. This movie disguises nothing and the character interaction is made corny by the predictability of their actions.
If you remember the days of the Batman standard of having at least two villains per movie starting with Catwoman and Penguin then you remember that it made the movies very busy with multiple stories none of which got enough attention to make any of them worthwhile. In this instance I don't think the movie falls apart nearly so much but then Batman had several other problems added to the mix. Daredevil whips quickly into the story of this comicbook character's arch enemy (Bullseye), his greatest love (Elektra), and the great evil force behind everything (Kingpin) all in one movie. And on top of it all the movie has to take time to cover the origin of Daredevil himself. The lawyer Matt Murdock's partner is well cast, played and written. Daredevil is correctly portrayed (for the most part) both as a character and visually. The casting choice for Kingpin although not in line with the character as drawn in the books makes more sense than the books and works to the movies advantage. Bullseye was relatively well done (crazy and talented). Elektra was OK but the point is that each of these parts were thrown by the viewer at a reckless pace. It was like going to the ice cream store and only getting samples, never buying a full cone of ice cream. By the time the spinning sensation stopped the movie was over. There is a fight scene in a playground that should not even made it into the movie. It makes little to no sense. Liking the Daredevil comic book is probably the main reason that I stuck this one out. A few more like this and comics won't make it to the screen any more.
Oh my word, is Nick Cage channeling Segal or some other action-movie retard?
I can't believe that John Cusak is in this. Money must have been tight at his house. Stupid stunts, ridiculous situations, lame attempts to be cute all culminate in a giant dung heap of a movie. The sickening sweetness of Nick Cage's sob story is horrible. Rambo was more believable. If there was one more "interesting" dilemma for Nick to be "heroic" about I would have run out of the movie puking. Nick Cage hit the bottom and drilled a hole in it a mile deep. John Malcovich must have been high to have signed onto this one. Ving Rames is in his usual role as tough guy. On the positive side, John Cusak has some cute lines and "Mr. Pink" is interesting. Action movies as a whole aren't worth a crap if they take place in a real-world setting and don't stay a little closer to real-world scenarios and stunts. I miss believable movies like "Magnum Force".
If you like the standard Sly flicks that involve over the top action, unbelievable stunts (unbelievable is not intended to be complimentary here), and retarded dialogue; you will love this steaming pile of mountain goat dung. I had high hopes based on the trailer. I thought that Stalone was going to be forced in his "has-been" days to yield to smarter people and make an action film that would place a credible hero in a credible situation where the story, setting, and (believable) action would prevail. I crave action that is at least close enough to reality that you can imagine the fear and excitement that would come from such an event. My limited knowledge of hypothermia and its effects rendered at least one scene laughably ridiculous. Judge Dredd is only better because you know going into the theater that you are going to see a comic book made into a movie. The character, setting and everything else are beyond comparison to anything we might encounter ourselves. Cliffhanger on the other hand turns a mountain climbing guide into Rambo before you can say "yo, Adrian!"
This monster flop has an interesting story outline filled with garbage. The aliens have weaknesses that make even the non-rocket scientist in the audience wonder "how did these guys survive long enough to conquer anyone?" The next question I found myself asking is this, "How long would certain things (books, computer-dependent machinery, combustion engines) last and still be of any use to anyone?" Too many things you see in the movie are simply beyond belief. But this is science fiction you say? Of course. The point is that the basic story could have been told without any of these ridiculous questions bugging the viewer if the people making it had just thought things out for an hour or two. I understand that suspension of belief is a requirement of sci-fi fans but you have to limit it to just what is necessary to tell the story you are trying to tell.
I enjoy the transformation of Clint Eastwood's character throughout the movie. In the beginning he reluctantly becomes a gunfighter but as the movie progresses you see how he slides down the slippery slope of wickedness to become the cold-blooded killer needed for the task. Morgan Freeman's reaction to the transformation is well played also. Richard Harris' character is colorful as is his sidekick. Gene Hackman's sheriff is pleasantly atypical of the role. All these actors and their characters effectively leave the viewer with a myriad of directions from which the movie expertly entertains. If you are expecting anything like Clint's "spaghetti westerns" you will be disappointed. If you are looking for an excellent story with characters that all have varying degrees of wickedness, you will be satisfied when its all said and done.