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-... more »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« less
Diehard's Renny Harlin directs this masterpiece with a feel of Diehard at times with Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker and others at their best! A must watch!
Jon P. (pjhunter1) from BURNSVILLE, MN Reviewed on 8/11/2009...
Worth watching with your wife
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Edge of Your Seat ... er, Cliff
Randy Given | Manchester, CT USA | 01/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a nail-biter of a movie. There are many points that keep you on the edge of your sear, er, cliff. The cinematography is excellent and so is the acting. Although the setting is snow-covered mountains, it is viewable any time of the year (watching during a snow storm is especially gripping). This is better than many of the summer block-buster movies we have seen in the past ten years, so give it a try."
Thin story, good action and suspense.
D. Litton | Wilmington, NC | 06/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Cliffhanger" is one of those movies where the suspense sequences and action stunts outweigh everything else by a landslide (pardon the pun). There's really not much to the development of characters or plot, except that the movie uses the script as an excuse to put its characters in extremely dangerous situations one after another. On this ground, it works splendidly, and while the story and characterization are weak, there are still some good performances turned in by the cast. The movie sets itself up with the promised white-knuckle action in a sequence that brings on the tension but fails to move us emotionally. On his way to retrieve his best friend, Hal Tucker (Michael Rooker) and his girlfriend, Sarah, from a 4,000 peak, Gabe Walker (Sylvester Stallone) makes an attempt to rescue Sarah after she begins falling, without success. Hal blames it on Gabe, and Gabe's own self-torment keeps him from town and from his own love, Jessie (Janine Turner). This move, while meant to establish emotion and character depth, doesn't do a whole lot for the script. The movie then transfers us to a U.S. treasury plane, where three cases of money, in bills unusable except by a select group of people in the world, are being flown across the country. The plane is soon hijacked by a group of terrorists, led by Eric Qualen (John Lithgow). However, his plans are ruined once they lose the cases at high altitude and crash in the Rocky Mountains, where they call for help under the guise of being in danger. Sparing the rest of the movie's twists and turns, once Gabe and Hal arrive on the scene, they are taken hostage and forced to climb mountains and hike through forests to find the three cases of money, soon bringing more people into the situation than the movie calls for. The movie chooses to focus more on the action than on the story itself, which really isn't that bad a move. From the high-altitude stunts to the white-knuckle suspense generated by the scenes charged with high-octane suspense, the movie doesn't lose its ability to get our attention with actors hanging on the edges of cliffs and mountains, holding on for dear life. The tension generated by the terrorists is, at best, mediocre. Even under the shadow of leader Lithgow, whose flair for turning a colorful phrase at every moment is funny yet unsettling, the movie never really gives us any reason to fear the henchmen along for the climb. There are certain moments, such as that in which the only black terrorist hunts Gabe and Jessie in a cavern, or when Gabe is trapped beneath an ice-covered lake. However, the only people the terrorists knock off we aren't given too much time to know, so what reason do we have to care? Stallone is back in fine form, the action hero we've always admired from his earlier "Rocky" days. He's required to carry a lot of the heroism on his shoulders, and big as those shoulders are, that is no easy task. Yet, he is able to pull it off, with the help of Rooker and Turner, who give jobs well done in their roles. While not the best action film ever made, "Cliffhanger" is a commendable piece of suspense that works due to its breathtaking action sequences and the altitude of its settings. It tends to drag in places, but really, with a movie that's so focused on getting us into a sweat, what does it matter?"
Chrissy K. McVay | North Carolina | 03/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Can't help it, I'm a Stallone fan (though I didn't care for the dingy movie with Dolly), but this one is great for the collection. I started following this actor with all the Rocky movies, then Rambo, etc. This movie has the unforgettable death scene that hooks you in the beginning, and the stunts with the 'plane' that follow are excellent. When you mix mountain climbing with lots of snow and ice, and toss in some bad guys, there's bound to be a lot of action. The movie hasn't edged out the Rocky and Rambo movies as my favorites, but it's a good Stallone flick. Chrissy K. McVay - Author"
No bullets, bitch!
Alex K | 02/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I LOVE THIS MOVIE! It is full of intense action and a lot of suspenseful moments that will keep you on the edge of your ass, and a lot of terrific quotes, funny moments, and fight scenes. It follows a man named Gabe Walker, played by Sly Stallone, who is guilty after losing his girl Sarah on a mountain climb. Later, when a bunch of evil men goes to the mountains for money he gets the guts back, and his new girl, Jesse, comes with him. He meets up with Hal, one of his comrades on the last climb. They fight at first, but then become friends when the baddies show up. Soon, these villains are looking for money, and will stop at nothing to get it. A lot of fight scenes occur, and in the end, there is battle like you've never seen before. How does this film end? See it and find out. But I will tell you that if you like action, then see Cliffhanger! You won't regret it one tiny little bit!! And don't f*** with Stallone's success!"
Nate | Brisbane, QLD AUSTRALIA | 12/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While this movie is not as dramatic on DVD as it was in theatres, the scenery is still great, with lots of action sequences and a great performance from John Lithgow in the bad guy role, Cliffhanger is one of the great action flicks and still one of Stallone's best. At a cheap price, this is a great buy, strongly recommended."