Boiling Point (1993)
The Tweeder | Indianapolis, Indiana | 01/01/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Director: John B. Harris
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Dennis Hopper, Lolita Davidovich, Viggo Mortensen, Seymour Cassel, Jonathan Banks, Christine Elise, Tony Lo Bianco, Dan Hedaya.
Running Time: 92 minutes
Rated R for langauge and violence.
"Boiling Point is too pithy to be a successful thriller; too low profile to be a successful action caper. If the plot had thrown more twists, offered more insight on the characters psyche, or had a much more involving story, the film could have sufficed even as a decent thriller. Had there been explosives, chase scenes, and other good action ploys, this movie could've made a decent action film; however, it is not much of either category, thus suffering from mediocrity. Police detective, Jimmy Mercer (Wesley Snipes) and his partner, Brady (Dan Hedaya), are investigating the shooting death of an undercover U.S. Treasury agent who investigating a counterfeit ring. The two guys who he was dealing with, gunned him down and fled the scene, before Mercer and Brady could intervene and save their partner. Turns out the murderers are fast-talking Red Diamond (Dennis Hopper), so named because of his red hair, who owes fifty grand to another gangster within seven days and his partner, Ronnie (Viggo Mortensen), an eerie kind of guy who is never sure if Red is just handing him a line of garbage with all the schemes he involves him in. In order to make it through the next week alive, these two crooks need a get rich quick counterfeit scheme.
Meanwhile, Mercer and Brady are going from one informant to another, trying to get them to give up information about Red and Ronnie, a description, their location, anything. Sometimes they're successful and sometimes not. The movie goes on and on like as the two trail one person after another trying to get close on the trail of Red and Ronnie. It is wholly uninteresting, offering no real suspense and even less action to fill the time. The movie fails to deliver any real substance in between, which is sad when you consider the possibility of your characters, and especially, the potential of the actors. At points this is an enjoyable cop thriller but for the majority it is a misjudged affair that lacks either an emotionally involving depth or a fast paced tension that holds you. The problem is that it cannot decide which of these it wants to do and it is not good enough to manage to both in the way. Snipes does try hard but he can't get a human face that we buy into, specifically his "running away with hooker" thing is just laughably unconvincing. Hopper seems to be in another film and enjoys just wining and dining women but he only serves to slow the film down and distract from the main thread. Mortensen plays a standard role but does it pretty well, likewise Davidovich does well with what little she has. Support from familiar faces such as Cassel, Banks and Gleason all give the impression of a film deep in quality but sadly this is only an impression. Overall, this is a fairly poor film that tried to be better than the genre but failed to achieve its goals. In a plot that resembles the later "Heat", the threads don't work, with no emotional involvement in the characters and no thrills or tension to really speak of. The cast deserved better and so do the audience; there are several cop thrillers that try the same thing as Boiling Point, it would be to your advantage to watch one of the ones that actually does it well."