Saturday, May 31, 2014

Against All Odds (1984)

Jeff Bridges Film Fest Movie #16 

Synopsis: Ever wanted to see Out of the Past remade with faster sports cars and steamier sex scenes? This is your movie. 

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Dark passions explode in this steamy, sinister love story starring Rachel Ward and Jeff Bridges. Terry Brogan (Bridges), a cynical ex-football star, is hired to find Jessie Wyler (Ward), the runaway mistress of a ruthless LA nightclub owner, Jake Wise (James Woods)... Packed with riveting excitement and vivid sensuality, Against All Odds grabs you and never lets you go.” 

What Did I Learn?: If you’re a public figure, it’s difficult to balance protecting the environment with betting on football games. 

Really?: 1) Wait just a minute... Caxton controls Wise, and yet he did nothing when Mrs. Wyler – his wife – strongly objected to Wise dating Jessie? WTF? 2) Um.... what was the point of that car chase? I mean, I guess it demonstrated that Jake has balls the size of grapefruits, and he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to win, but reckless driving along a busy highway is a great way to end up in jail. 3) So, um... how old is Jessie, exactly? Bridges was 34 when this movie was made, and I’m guessing Woods was in his mid-thirties, as well. The film ends with Jessie under her mother’s thumb, so... this is a bit creepy. 

Rating: Against All Odds is a very loose remake of Out of the Past, and it works on its own terms as a suspense thriller. Bridges and Woods portray surprisingly complex characters, the film boasts a lot of beautiful location shots of Mexico and Century City, the musical score is impressive (interestingly, we don't hear the Phil Collins title song until the final credits), and things really start to heat up in the third act. My only complaint is there’s too much extra plot about land deals and crooked politicians that’s a bit superfluous to the story. 8/10 stars.

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