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Cliffhanger

Sylvester Stallone , John Lithgow , Renny Harlin    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Cliffhanger was a 1994 comeback of sorts for action hero Sylvester Stallone, this time thanks to director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2 and Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master) and some spectacularly rugged and vertigo-inducing high-mountain terrain. The opening sequence alone delivers what the title promises, and there's a doozy of an airplane stunt that was later reprised, with modifications, in Air Force One. Stallone, looking as tough and craggy as the mountains themselves, is a rescue climber who finds himself going after a gang of crooks (headed by John Lithgow in his bad-guy mode) who've hijacked a U.S. Treasury plane and crash landed in the Rockies (played by the Italian Dolomites) with millions of bucks. --Jim Emerson

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars See above July 12 2004
Format:DVD
Sorry, posted this review more than once by accident. See above
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4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting action flick, though not up to DIE HARD July 12 2004
Format:DVD
A previous reviewer called CLIFFHANGER a "guilty pleasure," and that is pretty much the way I see the film.
CLIFFHANER was a return to action form for its star Sylvester Stallone, after he had made his indelible mark on the genre with his RAMBO trilogy in '80s. His character here, Gabe Walker, is drastically scaled-down, befitting the film's "high" concept, which is basically "DIE HARD on a mountain."
Okay, so the premise (which is actually credited in this movie to a man named John Long) is not breathtakingly original---a nasty group of robbers led by evil Eric Qualen (John Lithgow, effectively playing his role to the hilt) lose three cases of American money in the Rockies and force Walker and companion Hal Tucker (Michael Rooker, he of HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER) to help them find it. Director Renny Harlin---who also directed DIE HARD 2---brings all his action expertise to bear on the thin plot and actually succeeds in crafting a good action film out of it. He was lucky in getting cinematographer Alex Thomson on his team, and Thomson makes the most of the Italian Dolomites (standing in for the Rockies) mountain settings by creating shots that revel in its scenic grandeur and impart an appropriately dizzying sense of vertigo to the proceedings. And Harlin uses his penchant for fast action pacing to good effect here, generating an exciting sense of momentum that hardly ever lets up until the final showdown.
So, as action entertainment, CLIFFHANGER can be counted as a success. So why do I find it a "guilty" pleasure rather than simply a pleasure? Well, I have to admit that I found some of the violence in the second half of the film a little too much at times---not only gratuitous but sometimes downright brutal.
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4.0 out of 5 stars See above July 12 2004
Format:DVD
Sorry, posted this review more than once by accident. See above
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cliffhanger a blockbuster hit!! July 1 2004
Format:VHS Tape
CliffHanger made in 1993 is one of the most exciting action films on screen. The stunts and location in the movie are unbelievable.
It stars Sylvester Stallone as Gabriel Walker, and (Michael Rooker)as Hal Tucker as 2 climbing experts whose friendship comes to an end, when Tucker's girlfriend , Sarah
falls to her death while climbing when Gabe tries to rescue her. Tucker blames Walker for the accident and hasn't forgiven him ever since.
Jess Dieghan ( Janine Turner) plays Gabriel girlfriend and coworker on these hi-risk rock climbing jobs.
The basic plot in CliffHanger is that a group of terrorists led by a madman named Qualin (John Lighgow) are stealing money from the Treasury Department and making their escape through an airplane. Mr. Travers is the Treasury Agent who is assigned the task of showing an FBI agent, Mr. Mateson, how to find the sum of money that was stolen from Treasury department. However, Mr. Mateson's true job is to find the traitor inside the Treasury Department. It just so happens that Mr. Mateson, is on the same airplane that the terrorist, and the traitor
is, and in a really great scene, blows away a couple of the terrorists and puts their plan to steal the money on hold.
Eventually, Mr. Qualin and his remaining terrorists friends escape, but not before the money they stole gets tossed into the icy mountains below them. Qualin and his friends, stranded on the mountains, and angry about losing their money, come up a with a plan to get back.
They pretend to be stranded on the mountains, and call in a rescue team to get them, and to eventually force them to get their money.
The rescue team answers and you guessed it, it's Gabe Walker and his ex friend Hal Tucker who answer the call.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Action Thriller June 26 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I don't understand why this movie has got such poor aver rating(3.5stars) and about those worst xxx awards.
This is one of the BEST action films i have ever seen.
picturization is superb.
It stands as one of the few movies i ever want to watch again and again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A non-stop express thriller June 11 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This film is an action-packed, rapid transit express that races along on its almost two-hour non-stop journey about mountain climbing, double-crosses and murder. The movie's opening rescue sequence is both thrilling and horrifying in its unfolding drama and sets the tone for the rest of the film. Gabe Walker is a believable hero, subdued and sensitive but tough in the clutch and gets a great assist from girlfriend Jessie who understands the reasons why Gabe is haunted by the demons of guilt. John Lithgow again is a suave villain, an evil mastermind who watches his master plan spin out of control as bad luck and bad weather conspire to thwart his grand design. Lithgow has plenty of help from a motley crew of killers and vicious types who try to outdo each other for sheer brutality and end up snarling at one another like the jackals they are. Great stunt work and Italian Alpine vistas add realism to the movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stallone's Best Action in Years May 15 2004
By J
Format:DVD
Best watched with minimal expectations. The action scenes are great. The movie is basically Die Hard in the mountains or Point Break with mountain climbing. The plot, however, doesn't make a bit of sense, so its just best to ignore it. Several obvious questions spring instantly to mind. Why are there so many henchmen in the 2nd plane? It's essentially a getaway vehicle. Why are they so well armed? All the agents are on the hijacked plan. Why do they carry cold weather clothing? They're on a plane. Enjoy the scenery.
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