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Roger Davidson

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Mel Gibson is starting to remind me of Harrison Ford. He plays characters that are not excessively macho (Gibson even makes fun of machismo from time to time) and are mostly good-natured folks, driven into overwhelming situations. That is the case for Gibson's character here, a millionaire whose son has been kidnapped by an extremely nasty individual (Gary Sinise) and his assorted companions. Gibson must figure out a way to outsmart the kidnapper, without getting his son killed or becoming estranged from his wife (Rene Russo) and the FBI agent (Delroy Lindo) who's trying to help get his son back.

Gibson, Russo and the rest of the cast play their parts realistically and excellently. There aren't too many films were Gibson can pull off a long range of emotions. This film gives him that chance and he succeeds. Director Ron Howard and the screenwriters also devise a genuinely suspenseful story, a thing you rarely see in Hollywood filmaking nowadays. There are plot twists galore, complex good guys and bad guys (who both tend to walk that fine line between what's sane and what's insane) and some of the most pulse-pounding suspense scenes ever produced. Gibson couldn't have picked a more intelligent and intricate film to star in.

My Rating = Four Stars

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