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Frantic? Oh Please! Harrison - you oughta be slapped!

  • Apr 29, 2001
  • by
Pros: it ended finally

Cons: the entire premise of the frigging movie

The Bottom Line: Just because it starred Harrison Ford, it doesn't mean it is a good movie

Now I am a huge Harrison Ford fan but never have given a tinker's hoot for Roman Polanski. Perhaps this comes from the hype of his rape of a 14 year old many years ago and his eventual banishment from the United States. We are often swayed by things we hear about people. To my memory, the only other movie of Polanski's I can think of right now is Rosemary's Baby , which I considered a turkey of the highest caliber, being somewhat of an expert on turkey's you know! I was disappointed to find Ford and Polanski coupled in this movie and after watching it, I knew why.

Based on the premise of Ford (Dr. Richard Walker) who is supposedly enthralled with his wife, Sondra (Betty Buckley) and a trip to Paris. You have the inevitable suitcase switch at the airport with this couple ending up with apparently the bad guys suitcase. While Ford is in the shower, Buckley disappears - hook, line and sinker! Ford becomes involved in finding her, although he has no knowledge of Paris, no ability to speak the language, and no idea where to find her. Even facing all these improbabilities, he manages to track down someone associated to the suitcase, only to find her dead.

Naturally, being Ford, another woman enters the picture - also looking for the suitcase and it's contents - he enlists her help and she enlists his. Somehow, although not skilled in any intrigue in his normal life, Ford is now able to drop into the underworld of Paris and move through it with panache. His escapades leave me a little ticked, to tell the truth. Case in point - clambering over the roof tops of Paris with the frigging suitcase in hand, you of course know he is going to fall and loose the whole thing - which he does.

The contents of this suitcase are his only chance to get his wife back (there is some kind of nuclear denotation switch involved) and is the other ladies only chance to collect her money due for the shipment. After many fruitless and bumbled attempts to meet up with the bad guy kidnappers, they finally meet and exchange wife for switch.

Of course, now the embassy agents who were previously no help at all to Ford when he asked for it, show up and kill the bad guys but shoot the other woman as well. (Sorry I never gave her name but it escapes me. The only thing I can tell you is she is Polanski's real life 21 year old girlfriend and he is - what? 100 now? Creep!) In one of the poorest death acting scenes in a long time, she staggers to Ford and gives him the switch thing which he promptly throws into the river - ensuring no one will ever have control of such a destructive device (until the next one is made that is).

If this were a Western, this would be the point where the good guys ride off into the sunset - but all we get here is Ford and Buckley strolling, well stumbling since they are both kinda beat up, off hand in hand. Kind of a slap in the face, isn't it? Although Ford gives his usual great acting ability I was a little miffed at the premise that this virtual unknown is able to traverse through Paris with such ease and obtain his goal. It is almost as if Polanski is rubbing your nose in the dirt and trying to make you believe it is something you wanted him to do.

Sorry, for a Ford movie - I was just ‘Frantic' for it to end!


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Susi Dawson ()
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