Sunday, January 22, 2012

Against All Odds

Against All Odds (1984 Columbia Pictures)

This Taylor Hackford retelling of the classic noir Out of the Past features Jeff Bridges pursuing Rachel Ward( hot body- but such a mom haircut in this movie) to Mexico. Bridges is a recently cut wide-out for the fictional Los Angeles Outlaws. He is also hiding a debt to a bookie. In order to earn his way free he agrees to track down the daughter of the team owner. When he finally finds her- they start to canoodle in the jungle and the ocean and in a hut and in some ruins. Former NFL great and part time grappler Alex Karras is also retained by the bookie to find his wayward WR and ex-girlfriend .This movie features some terrible over-acting, cliché dialogue and some great on-location scenery. The macho car chase at the beginning of the movie between the waived receiver and the smarmy gambler portrayed by James Woods is a decent scene. The movie is also redeemed by Kid Creole and the Coconuts performing “My Male Curiosity” in a night club- that redemption is doubled with the full video being included on the DVD. The DVD includes audio commentary by the director, deleted scenes and trailers for some superior Jeff Bridges movies (The Last Picture Show and Starman). This is not something to seek out- although Rachel Ward’s overacting is always great for a soundbite or mashup. The DVD also has the video for the title song sung by Phil Collins.

The movie is compelling in part because of the great score and soundtrack – but hindered by a plot that feels part Out of the Past and part Chinatown. In an attempt to add to the noir credibility of the film, veteran actor Richard Widmark (Kiss of Death, Night and the City) is the evil man in the shadows. C-

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