Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Edge (1997)

Hurray for films that make audiences think.

The Edge is a thinking person's action/adventure film.

This 1997 effort from director Lee Tamahori is straight-forward in its plot.

Very successful businessman Anthony Hopkins (Charles Morse) and his wife, Mickey Morse (Elle Macpherson), arrive at a remote lodge so he can celebrate his birthday and she can model with photographer Robert Green (Alec Baldwin).

Screenwriter David Mamet (The Verdict, The Untouchables) isn't exactly subtle in setting up where The Edge is headed. Lodge boss Styles (L.Q. Jones) mentions how planes can encounter trouble when they fly into the path of migrating birds. Oh, and some bears have a taste for human flesh. Add to the scenario the inkling Charles has that his wife and shooter Bob are having an affair and voila, the stage is set for the rest of this two-hour film.

A float plane carrying Charles and Robert does crash. They, and another survivor, are hunted down by one very large bear. Charles has more pressing concerns, ie. how they'll get back to the lodge without being killed, but still expects Robert wants to kill him so he can be with Mickey.

Charles just isn't rich. He's smart too - and an optimist. Charles remembers what he reads about outdoor survival and what dooms those who die in the bush. The killer bruin (Bart) is a tough cookie. He's big, mean and ready to kill. But Charles isn't about to give up and opts to battle back against the bear.

Beautiful scenery, some healthy tension when Bart is on the prowl and Charles' ingenuity make The Edge a keeper.

RATING: 8/10

FUN FACTS: The Edge was the second last screen role for Bart the Bear. The imposing bruin appeared in 17 productions, beginning with Windwalker in 1980. He died in 2000 at age 23.

Television audiences may remember Harold Perrineau from his role as Michael Dawson in Lost.

I didn't know this. Elle Macpherson was Julie Madison in Joel Schumacher's widely panned Batman and Robin.

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