Melvin Hunt | Cleveland,, Texas United States | 05/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this movie two Border Patrol officers (Treat Williams and Kris Kristofferson) find a jeep buried under sand.This jeep has
a high porered rifle and $800,000 in cash in it.When the government finds out about their find a massive drive is conducted to discard the evidence. The two Border Patrol agents
are forced to run for their lives. The agent played by Kristofferson is told the real story about the jeep.the rifle and the money.The truth is stunning. This is a very good movie
that is well worth watching.It will leave you wondering."
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 02/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Flashpoint" is one of those films that pay cable channels put into heavy rotation after its initial release back in the 1980s and one that still occasionally turns up nowadays as one of those middle of the night flicks on TBS or TNT. I first saw it eons ago, and never forgot its conspiratorial tone and desert atmosphere. When I first started getting into DVD in a big way, I looked for this movie right from the start only to discover it had not yet crossed that oftentimes impassable gulf between digital video disc and VHS tape. It is the type of film I knew--through long and painful experience with big studios and their total disrespect for DVD technology--would only appear on a disc in a fullscreen format with little to no extras, and I was right. It is that obscure. Hopefully its recent reemergence will help this film find a whole new generation of fans. "Flashpoint" is a must watch film for anyone who enjoys the idea of seeing Kris Kristofferson, Treat Williams, Rip Torn, Kurtwood Smith, Jean Smart, and Miguel Ferrer in the same movie. O.k., a few of those names might not be a selling point, but it's still an intriguing film nonetheless.
The American Southwest is an environment of sand, cactus, heat, and more heat. It's the sort of place where some people still think they live in the Old West, the sort of place where people keep to themselves. It's also a place where secrets can hide under the sand for decades without anyone the wiser. Such is the case in "Flashpoint," a film where a dirty secret from some twenty odd years earlier is about to cause a whole lot of grief for a whole lot of people. Enter Logan (Kristofferson) and Ernie (Williams), two border patrol officers who spend their days roaming through the desert chasing illegal aliens. These two men couldn't be further apart in temperament and manner. Logan is a jaded Vietnam veteran and a once promising government employee who now thinks his job is a real drag. He's just putting in his time and trying not to make waves because he wants people to leave him alone. Ernie, however, is an idealistic younger guy who doesn't hesitate to stand up to injustice when he sees it. For example, an auto accident in town that claims the lives of several illegal aliens finds Ernie confronting the man responsible for smuggling people over the border. The two get along so well because they admire each other's personalities.
Both men also form a bond over the latest shenanigans going on at the border patrol office. The bigwigs in Washington decide it's a great idea to bury thousands of computer-controlled sensors out in the desert to track the movements of the illegals, an idea that will cost agents their jobs. While burying one of these sensors, Logan discovers a jeep buried out in the desert. The skeletal remains of the driver, a driver's license, a box filled with fishing gear and a rifle, and nearly a million dollars in cash form the beginnings of a mystery that will bring about a mess of trouble. The driver's license is dated 1963. So is the money. And the story takes place in Texas. Do you see where this is going yet? Yep, Logan discovered someone involved with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The two officers don't know this at first, but soon will after Ernie insists on discovering this man's identity before he will agree to split town with the loot. Logan grudgingly obliges. Their investigation agitates Sheriff Wells (Rip Torn) and brings in the enigmatic federal agent Carson (Kurtwood Smith) and his goons. Ernie and Logan soon discover that they are facing something far bigger and more powerful than they are, something that won't hesitate to kill anyone in its path to keep the cover up in place. Lots of innocent people bite the dust by the time the credits roll.
"Flashpoint" is a great film, one of those great films largely ignored by both critics and the viewing public. Surprisingly, it's not the connection to the JFK assassination that makes the film as good as it is, although the scenes in which the two men begin to unravel the connection between the jeep and the crime are truly eerie. The film also never really explains the parameters of the conspiracy Ernie and Logan are up against except to hint that it's something large and powerful beyond belief, powerful to the point that it can kill law officers with ease and without any fear of interference. What does make the film a winner, aside from the wonderful performances of the principal actors, has a lot to do with the atmospheric desert environment. It is frightening to consider what secrets lie under the sand out in the middle of nowhere, and even more frightening to think the government knows what's hidden out there. That a cabal of powerful individuals could sweep into the desert and do whatever they want to anyone they want is an extremely horrific proposition, and one that works wonders in this movie. After all, it's awfully difficult to find witnesses out in the middle of the desert.
"Flashpoint" also boasts a great score from Tangerine Dream that perfectly meshes with the sweeping vistas and mountain backdrops. Sadly, the fullscreen transfer doesn't look too great, and the absence of extras really bothers me. I'm not one of these viewers who must listen to every commentary track or watch every little extra on a disc, but I sure would have appreciated seeing such things on a "Flashpoint" DVD. I'll endorse this Warner disc anyway since the movie is such a great way to spend a couple of hours. I'd like to see a special edition, though.
Mystery and conspiracy in the desert on the Texas border
Melvin Hunt | 03/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Flashpoint" is a unique amalgam of suspense, conspiracy thriller and action. A picturesque movie that has the south Texas desert as much a part of the film as the actors. The movie's plot swirls around the discovery of a skeleton, a rifle, and over 800,000 dollars in cash in an almost-buried jeep on the border. Viewers will enjoy the allure of secrecy and cover-up, with protagonists determined to solve the answer why a man would be driving at night through the desert in a rainstorm with a rifle and almost a million dollars in cash. The characters played by Kris Kristofferson and Treat Williams, are similar to Elliot Gould in "Capricorn One" and Warren Beatty in "The Parallax View"(If you enjoyed these movies, you'll definitely like "Flashpoint"). Lastly, the film allows you to figure out the mystery on your own, and gives enough clues along the way to an unpredictable conclusion. P.S. I disagree with Leonard Maltin, I thought the title track at the end credits was a good, true-blue 80's tune( "I'm caught in a flashpoint...!")"
Cynicism and Paranoia, Corruption and Hate contained
Matthew J. Archuleta | DENVER, CO USA | 10/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have waited years for this release to be laser scribed onto DVD--it is here! A very good movie.
I have to say the Inspector Carson (belonging to an unknown federal agency), character played by Kurtwood Smith is good if not great acting.
He epitomizes the sort of corrupt fellow we all love to hate.
His lines in the movie (particularly when he and Border Patrol Agent Bobby Logan, Kris Kristofferson) discuss 'politics' during a stakeout are sheer unadulterated cynicism at the nuttiest best. The conspiracy flakes have probably adopted these lines as their mantra....
Great bit part acting by Rip Torn, Roberts Blossom (as the desert rat), Tess Harper and the young and sultry Jean Smart.
Kris Kristofferson does a great job with his lines and acting capacity and Treat Williams does ok as well.
Anyone who has been in law enforcement--or any other supervisory capacity for that matter--has seen the idiocy and vacuum headedness of the supervisor depicted in the movie of the Border Patrol: Totally inept.
The soundtrack by Tangerine Dream is one of my all time favorites because it fits the movie seamlessly and draws you into the scenes. A must see movie.