" T H E.....H I D D E N "......I S.....A....H I D D E N....G
Patricia | Queens, New York, USA | 06/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT there are only a certain number of fiction plots, and that these are used, over and over again. Well, the first "alien-buddy-cop" movie that I know of is this magnificient film, "THE HIDDEN", starring KYLE MACLACHLAN and MICHAEL NOURI. (Mr. MacLachlan is also known for his role in "Twin Peaks", and Mr. Nouri for his role of Jennifer Beal's "Prince Charming" in "Flashdance" -- and has recently, as of May, 2010, joined the cast of the classic soap "All My Children"). The plot here is simple: an alien race, (which in their natural form look something like lobsters), has the ability to enter into the bodies of other races -- including humans -- whether alive or dead. One such alien has had his wife and child killed. He knows who the murderer is, and tracks him to the planet Earth. The alien enters into the boddy of a dead FBI agent, and begins looking for his family's murderer -- which isn't easy, as the murderer-alien is busy entering many, many human bodies, (including, eventually, that of beautiful CLAUDIA CHRISTIAN -- an actress perhaps as well known for her beauty and acting abilities, (especially, for sci-fi fans, on BABYLON 5), as she is for her campaign to allow women to comfortably wear FLAT shoes, not heels, and still be glamourous!) Ms. Christian's character -- a stripper -- performs her "stripper dance" with obvious appeal and aplomb -- but one gets the feeling, as she appears before her audience -- and especially afterwards -- that she is not the typical, stereotyped "dumb showgirl", but is doing this job only as a way of making a living -- leaving audience members, (at least, THIS audience member), to fantasize about her also going, perhaps to college during the daytime...and wondering what her major might be....) Anyway, our alien hero, (now in a body the dead FBI agent), as played by Kyle Maclochlan, teams up with the Police Detective played by Michael Nouri, to go after the bad alien -- in his latest body -latest kill. Only the human police detective, played by Nouri, doesn't know his partner is an alien -- because the alien, naturally, prefers to keep this a secret. (Maclochlan does a great job of acting here -- his "act" as a alien-with-a-secret-hiding-inside-a-human-body, and his acting as the earstwhile FBI-agent, coalese beautifully...even coming in during the middle of the film, one senses, strongly, that there is someting "peculiar" about this very handsome FBI agent!) Nouri, the human, however, suspects his partner as well, and does some detective work on his own, about McLocklan's FBI agent -- discovering the agent has died -- and so, (also naturally), locks up the earstwhile FBI agent, until the guy tells Nouri's character who he REALLY is. Finally, Maclochlan's character DOES tell the truth -- afraid that this admittedly weird story, (at least, probably to human ears), will get him into even more trouble. But Nouri's character DOES believe him, and lets him out of the cell. The one, short scene, wherein the two men, now true partners, join together to go after this vicious alien killer of both aliens AND humans, is one of the most heart-warming of "world brotherhood", (or perhaps I should say, "universal brotherhood"), portraits I have ever seen.
To reveal more of the plot would be to spoil the ending -- which is, from here on out, basically in two parts -- eaah part, very, dramatic. The film holds together beatifully because of the great script, wonderful acting, believable story, (believable, that is, once you take the idea of good aliens and bad aliens coming to Earth, and the idea of a particular race of aliens being able to enter human bodies as realistic, which the very talented writers of this story obviously did.) This movie is a treat from beginning to end. However, upon reaching the end of the movie, you will probably be very glad to discover, (as I have just now), that there is a continuation of this story, in "The Hidden -- Part 2".
This story has echoes of "LETHAL WEAPON", and of the totally wonderful "ALIEN NATION -- THE SERIES", and also of the charming and endearing "DUE SOUTH" series, on TV. (Canadians are NOT aliens, but the innate niceness of most, (but not all), Canadians does sometimes seem somewhat alien to Americans -- many, (but not all), of whom often seem less nice. I know whereof I speak -- my mom and her family are from Canada!) And the "Hidden" influence lasted even longer than this! I have, in fact, just finished watching a replay of the 1999 episode, "BETTER LUCK, NEXT TIME", from the New Outer Limits series on TV -- and echoes of "The Hidden" are in this episode, as well. (Comcast description: "A detective interrogates two suspects --who may or may not be human.") Perhaps there is nothing new under the sun -- but I believe that the movie, "The Hidden", from 1987, was the first to exploit this "buddy-alien-human" theme to a general audience. It is a gripping film, full of suspense, action, humoour, and a bit of pathos, besides. EVERYONE who worked on this film is top-rate.
It is a true classic, perhaps in more ways than one -- and should definitely be better known.
I know I shall always remember it! Most highly recommended!"