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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Cliffhanger (1993)



Reviews and Comments

Sylvester Stallone breaks every conceivable rule of mountain climbing. Professionals will laugh themselves silly. The plot is simple: the badguys kill stuff; the goodguys try to get away. The action consists of 100% pure implausibility -- among other atrocities, Stallone fires a gun underwater, and the bullet penetrates the ice above him and kills a guy standing above. It's not even particularly good as a mindless action flick, for the main characters are so mechanical and stupid we don't care if they die or not; the badguys are unnecessarily brutal, killing off the one or two innocent bystanders that we do care about; and the ludicrousness of the action scenes undermine the suspense. Who cares if the rope Stallone is dangling from breaks? In this film, we half expect him to sprout wings on the spot and fly away. The opening sequence may be its single redeeming feature -- it's uncomfortable to watch, but it's the only moment of genuine suspense and drama to be found in this awful mess.