Watch only out of desperation...
Andrew Ellington | I'm kind of everywhere | 10/31/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"When you see the name Anthony Hopkins you automatically think `good movie'. I made that mistake before (with `Alexander' and `The Human Stain') and apparently I made that mistake again. In fact, `Desperate Hours' is so bad that it actually made me question whether or not Anthony Hopkins is really a good actor. Then again, you hear the name Michael Cimino and you recall the brilliance that was `The Deer Hunter' and you think `this has got to be good'. Honestly, Cimino is probably the worst thing about this movie. The films poor execution and lack of intelligence sucked all the charisma and charm and realism out of its cast and left us with a vapid and ridiculous waste of a free evening.
The film follows escaped convict Michael as he breaks into Nora's home with his brother Wally and their criminal partner Albert. Michael just needs a place to hold up until his girlfriend Nancy can meet up with him. Nora has some problems of her own. She is separated from her cheating husband Tim and is constantly fighting with him. When Tim shows up at the house, as well as their two children May and Zack, the family becomes hostages fighting for their survival from these ruthless men.
The plot is rather ridiculous as the character make decision after decision that no normal human being would make, and the script leaves no room for real tension within all the stupidity. It's a shame, because I hear that the original film is actually very, very good, but this film was so horrid that I actually deleted the original off my DVR before I had a chance to watch it.
Now I have to wait until it's reaired.
The acting is a major sore spot here as well. Like I said, you hear the name Anthony Hopkins and you think `great movie'. He has a reputation for being a great actor. He's won an Oscar and countless other awards and he's held with high esteem in the acting community. That said; his performance here is atrocious. Hopkins has this very calm and mannered delivery of lines that perfectly suits him for period films and somewhat pigeonholes him. That delivery does not work well in this sort of movie. Mimi Rogers is also somewhat out of her element, but I admit that I don't truly know what her element would be. Elias Koteas is a mess, and David Morse (and actor I actually really enjoy) is just plain comical here.
No one is as bad as Kelly Lynch, but I don't even want to get into that hot mess.
Mickey Rourke is the only one that comes away with some dignity, but not much when you think about it. In a way he just mimicked a better actor. I dare you to watch his performance and not see Bruce Willis. He talks like him, acts like him and even looks like him here. They should have just gotten Willis himself; but perhaps he had better sense than to attach himself to this mess. So, Rourke actually turns out a charismatic and interesting performance, but only because he's calling to mind another more talented actor.
So in the end I cannot recommend this movie for any reason whatsoever because the movie is a total waste of time. Like I said in my review title; only see this movie out of extreme desperation, and by extreme I mean like if you were Will Smith and the whole world was filled with flesh eating zombies and you only had a dog for a companion and the local video store was recently burnt down by the zombies and the only video that was left unscathed was `Desperate Hours'. Then, and only then, should this movie be watched.
Okay, that was kind of harsh.
EDIT: I just want to make it clear that I gave this movie ONE star...as in an F...yet it for some reason saved it as TWO stars...so, just know that I think this movie deserves ONE, not TWO stars..."
Decent acting in dreadful movie!
Morten Lokkegaard | Copenhagen, Denmark | 07/05/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As other reviewers I picked this movie to watch due to the cast forgetting that particularly Hopkins really only made the big name for himself later in his career.... what a mistake. He plays decently though but were to my surprise overshadowed by Mickey Rourke's very realistic portrayal of a psycopath (in retrospect he does seem to feel right at home in such roles!).
The cinematography was nice showing beautiful scenery from Utah particularly in the beginning making us viewers wonder if this was a nature film we had ended up seeing... totally unclear what the director had in mind including this in a movie covering a hostage taking situation!
The smaller roles were however played poorly particularly the entire police force led by a woman who seemed as if she had been taken straight out of school play.. (You would think they could afford better with the rest of the cast in mind).
The worst part of the movie however was the completely unrealistic choices made throughout... other reviewers pointed several out already such as why the hostage taker lets one of his men go bringing along the body of a random victim, why he lets the daughter leave on a date (while not knowing the police was already onto him!) and last but not least why he choses to engage in hostage taking right after making a spectacularly unrealistic escape from prison!
Candidate for worst screenplay of the past century but compensated slightly by decent acting performances"
ROURKE AND HOPKINS WILL HELP YOU TO FORGET THE PLOT HOLES! 2
! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b | TRI STATE AREA | 08/23/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I had high hoped for this one, but too many contrivances and plot holes made my hopes disintegrate right before my eyes. Rourke and Hopkins do their best to keep this one from completely failing and keep it somewhat entertaining if you don't think about it too much.
Look for it on cable as I can't see sitting through this one more than once.
Cimino's worst movie
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 02/16/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"With superb performances from Frederic March, Humphrey Bogart and Arthur Kennedy, a taut script and on the money direction from William Wyler, The Desperate Hours is one of the great thrillers of all time. Unfortunately, this is Desperate Hours, one of the worst films of the nineties, or any other decade for that matter.
The first 15 minutes are great: tight, controlled and fairly convincing, with a surprisingly on-form Mickey Rourke. It doesn't last. As soon as he and his fellow unstable escaped murderers hide out in the home of Anthony Hopkins and Mimi Rogers' dysfunctional family it goes down the toilet faster than bleach. Logic is quickly abandoned, there are some dazzlingly obvious continuity errors and before long you feel almost as much a hostage as the truly obnoxious family themselves.
Mickey Rourke is initially very good, but the performance is not properly thought through and falls to pieces around the halfway mark. Hopkins, the most ridiculous Vietnam vet the screen has yet produced, is just appalling, Crouse bullish and one note while Kelly Lynch displays her breasts at every available opportunity - even in the opening jailbreak! - and to heck with logic or necessity.
With Desperate Hours, Michael Cimino finally made a film as bad as Heaven's Gate was supposed to be (but wasn't). Actually make that two, if you include The Sicilian. On the plus side, David Mansfield's score is very good indeed. Nothing else is. Avoid.