The film stars three great actors (John Goodman, Richard Dreyfuss, and Holly Hunter), has some of the most beautiful natural scenery in any Speilberg film, and a special appearance by Audrey Hepburn. The movie has a great beginning. At first viewing I thought to myself, "This is going to be awesome, a movie about Forest Service pilots and Smoke Jumpers! No one has ever done anything like that before." The great humor during the first thirty minutes (subtly making fun, among other things, of movies and even Speilberg himself) further deluded me. Of course, I knew Richard Dreyfuss' character was going to die, but I thought the movie was then going to focus on how the people in his life coped after his death. I was partially right, but wasn't counting on him to continue starring in the movie as an "unseen" spirit. After his character's final moment alive on Earth, the movie went downhill like a plane on fire. It quickly left its humor and adventure, entering the territory of the non-believable, extremely sappy, romance. From then one out there is very little hope. There are a few memorable scenes: Holly Hunter "cooking" dinner, the dead bus driver who is revived, and the final shot of Richard Dreyfuss walking out of the film. However, these scenes don't feel right together. The feel like different pieces of a jigsaw puzzle glued together: they fit but don't really belong. Even the master can't ALWAYS save a film.
What did you think of this review?