Tag Archives: Renny Harlin

Cliffhanger (1993) 3.04/5 (7)

 

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Rating: The Ugly – 66.5
Genre: Action
Duration: 112 mins
Director: Renny Harlin
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker

A truly awful screenplay meets some of the hammiest acting straight on in this entertaining action romp about a group of mercenaries who co-opt a couple of mountain climbers into their attempt to locate briefcases full of money lost in a mountain wilderness. John Lithgow adds yet another impossibly over the top turn to his catalogue as the merciless leader of the bad guys, Stallone is actually a little better than usual as the burly yet modest climbing expert, Michael Rooker offers sound presence to the mix but Janine Turner is much too bland to matter. Where Cliffhanger succeeds is in giving us a veritable kaleidoscope of nastiness in the bad guy department. From Rex Linn’s crooked treasury agent and 24 carat asshole to Caroline Goodall’s murderous vixen and with a couple/three very punchable faces thrown in between, these guys are the best bunch of venom spitting henchmen since Die Hard. Alas, without much of a script to harness the interesting personalities which the actors bring to the party, that’s all they remain and whatever fun there is to be had, is at watching these world class bastards get their well deserved comeuppances.

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Deep Blue Sea (1999) 3.14/5 (1)

 

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Rating: The Ugly – 62.6
Genre: Horror
Duration: 105 mins
Director: Renny Harlin
Screenplay: Duncan Kennedy, Donna Powers, Wayne Powers
Stars: Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson

A sea-based research centre where sharks are genetically bred larger and more intelligent to harvest their brain matter in a bid to find a cure for Alzheimer’s (or something) becomes a giant smorgasbord for the mutant fish when a storm gives them the opportunity to turn the tables on their captors. OK, the scenario is a bit of a stretch and some of the dialogue is a bit clunky (although not always unintentionally) but there is plenty to enjoy here. There is an array of colourful characters ranging from Thomas Jane’s terrific shark wrangler to LL Cool J’s philosophical cook while Samuel L. Jackson’s plays the money man with an interesting past. The action is thrilling and will in the main have you sliding towards the edge of your seat and some (but not all) of the special effects are impressive. Renny Harlin was definitely having fun with it and the tongue is firmly planted in the cheek for the most part. As such, Deep Blue Sea is very easy to enjoy and as pure brain candy you should be quite satisfied.

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