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It seems that thrillers these days--even good ones--are all about scene-chewing bad guys, cute retorts fit for the Dennis Miller show, and one big special effect to end the movie. Well, something like The Peacemaker, the first feature film from DreamWorks, puts the record straight. Here is an expertly paced thriller with a sensible villain, smart instead of cute dialogue, and a focus on action instead of special effects. It's not original, just solid. It's the second of these energetic and effective thrillers that writer Michael Schiffer (Crimson Tide) has penned. The White House Nuclear Smuggling Group tracks down 10 stolen nuclear bombs after a suspicious train wreck in Russia. The acting head of the department (Nicole Kidman) and her military field officer (George Clooney) are off to Europe to track down the bombs. Instead of a Gary Oldman-Bruce Dern madman, The Peacemaker's heavy is an unknown Romanian actor (Marcul Iures) playing a Bosnian rebel who works passionately and quietly. This may be a popcorn movie, but it uses the ripe emotions of the Bosnian War to create tension. This is the best film vehicle yet for the overwhelming charisma of George Clooney as a quick witted, generally warm Oliver North type who will seek deadly vengeance without pause. He's matched very well by the professional polish of Nicole Kidman who is showing great flexibility in dividing her roles between serious and fun fare. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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And then I borrowed it on video, and finally understood what happened. Mimi Leder was also the director of 'Deep Impact', and the problems were the same - both movies come across better on video than they do on the big screen. Special effects in both films are used sparingly, and the emphasis is on character development and motivation, not pure action and mindless violence.
For that reason, Peacemaker is my number-one favourite action movie. I'm tired of seeing action movies where there's more emphasis on killing people and perpetuating racial stereotypes (re: True Lies) than with plotline and development. It's refreshing to see a movie where even the "bad guys" have genuinely believable and (dare I say it) believable motivations.
I was surprised to see that some reviews, both online and in print, have intimated that the film isn't any good "because it was directed by a woman". In this day and age when more and more women are assuming positions of responsibility and making extremely valuable contributions to society, this kind of view really does belong to the stone-age.
This film deserves to be evaluated based on its own qualities, not on the gender of its director. The Peacemaker is a well-directed action film with some charming actors and a believable storyline. Its only downside (and it is a very minor one) is that the director doesn't take advantage of the vast palette available to most big-screen directors. This however is a minor failing. Other than that, it's a thoroughly enjoyable action-movie.
From a spooky beginning -the footage of the train in the twilight with the 'a capella' Russian chorus is captivating alone- to feeling the complexity of the events and confusion of the principal protagonists when the plot begins to develop, this movie expertly develops tension with a realistic plot that is neither trite nor overly full of itself. With a villain who draws at your empathy, and hunt for clues that spans all over the globe, the ride is intense. Although the effects, stunts, and editing are excellent, they are not the principal issue in the movie. This movie is not *about* pulling off a really cool jump-kick in slow motion; this movie is about complex motivations, complex emotions, and a never-ending sense of desperation.
The film is in full mastery in the final hunt in New York. The chaos of operating in an urban environment, with keeping everyone in the dark while trying to control the situation, all while the prey thinks he's safe - conveying all of this as well as they did makes this a movie to remember.
Sure politico-philes will find some cheezy moments to sneer at, and the Russian general is pretty ridiculous, but considering how awful most movies get when they try to relate a complex, geopolitical plot, this movie pulls it off really well.
Most recent customer reviews
An worthwile action venue that has not lost its actuality with the years. Still good today!Published 13 months ago by Norrin Radd
Excellent thriller avec George Clooney et Nicole Kidman. Les acteurs sont excellents et l'action ne manque pas.Published 14 months ago by Lucie Boutet
Great story with great interaction between the two leads. Strange title for such a dark and tragic theme.Published 17 months ago by Kelly D. Bryson