Thanks for letting me take part Michael!
“We eat when we’re not hungry, drink when we’re not thirsty. We buy what we don’t need and throw away everything that’s useful. Why sell a man what he wants? Sell him what he doesn’t need. Pretend he’s got eight legs and two stomachs and money to burn. It’s wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.” – Allie Fox
Number of Times Seen – At least three times (Cable in the 80’s, 6 Mar 2011 and 26 Feb 2020)
Brief Synopsis – An inventor uproots his family from the city and travels to South America in order to create a Utopian society for them.
My Take on it – As a fan of Harrison Ford films, this is a one of his films that I was never the biggest fan of and decided to give it another try for this blogathon.
Unfortunately, this film comes across as being quite boring in all that it tries to do.
Despite a stellar cast led by Ford and Peter Weir directing, this movie just doesn’t work well enough.
This film’s story tries to show the positive and negative aspects of trying to create a utopian society.
The main character derides society for its technological advancements, yet things are not clearly black and white because we can see both sides of this idea where it has strengthened our lives even if it in some ways also hampers things a bit.
Ford is truly a great actor, but the role he plays here just doesn’t work for him well enough despite being so very different from the kind of roles we are used to seeing him tackle which allows us to see how prolific an actor he can be.
The chemistry that he and River Phoenix have as father-son is great and the various debates and conversations that they have with one another are seen both verbally and physically the entire time.
These debates actually help keep things slightly more interesting than the overall plot itself does.
The story comes across as seeming much too existential which also takes away from things which is a shame.
Bottom Line – Pretty boring film that fails to work as well as one might hope it would due to it’s stellar cast and accomplished director. The story tries to show the positive and negative aspects of trying to cut oneself off from society while also showing how the technological advancements in society have also strengthened our lives instead of just hampering them. Ford is a great actor, but this film isn’t able to show how prolific he can be because the character he plays is so different from the action-adventure types he was known for at the time. He has great chemistry with Phoenix as his son and the kind of verbal and physical debates that they engage in helps keep things a bit more interesting due to the father-son dynamic that they have created here despite the fact that the story itself is a bit too existential.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In an Entertainment Weekly Magazine article titled “Regarding Harrison” from a 1992 interview, Harrison Ford said of this movie: “It’s the only film I have done that hasn’t made its money back. I’m still glad I did it. If there was a fault with the film, it was that it didn’t fully enough embrace the language of the (source) book (by Paul Theroux). It may have more properly been a literary rather than a cinematic exercise. But I think it’s full of powerful emotions.” (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)
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