(In theaters, October 1997) Average techno-thriller, but any average techno-thriller is better than no techno-thriller at all. Clooney and Kidman are delightful in their respective roles, and a few scenes are just too good to be missed: This is the first movie I’ve seen that more or less has a good grasp of what it takes to correctly disarm a nuclear bomb. Greatly benefits from being one of the most “realistic” (read: mean-spirited) movie in recent memory. Good direction by Mimi Leder, nice “invisible” special effects. Worth a matinee, and certainly the video rental.
(Second viewing, On TV, March 2001) While this film received mixed critical attention upon release, a second look reveals an efficient action film backed up with a solid post-cold-war plot that’s nothing to be ashamed of. George Clooney’s first film breakthrough (well before Out Of Sight) shows him in full command of his trademark mix of easy cockiness and hard confidence. Nicole Kidman is irreproachable as the analyst suddenly plunged out of her depths, without the usual clichés associated with these characters. It’s a shame that director Mimi Leder hasn’t followed up on the dynamic direction exhibited here; the action scenes are models of clarity and sustained tension. The Vienna car chase/demolition derby alone is worth a rental by its nastiness alone. A few budget-induced problems (the unseen opening explosion, mostly) still annoy me, but while The Peacemaker doesn’t really aspire to be more than a good technothriller, it does so exceedingly well.