A recent reviewer has slated this film for being pale in comparison to modern day action films. Well when a film is made 18 years ago then surely you should consider this before parting with your hard earned cash.
Make no mistake, after a shaky first 10 minutes this film is nothing short of compelling whether you are watching it in 1991 or 2009. When watching it reminded me of Jack Bauer in "24", ie. how bad can someone's life get before you turn it round.
The film starts with Denzel Washington as an everyday beat cop whose chance run in with bad guy John Lithgow shoots him to stardom in the eyes of the media. His career in turn progresses to an Assistant DA and onto a potential political guru. Whilst this is all happening John Lithgow rots in jail, never forgetting his involvement in Denzel's fame. So when he makes a very violent escape he decides to seek his revenge. Not by killing his nemisis, but by robbing him of everything that is dear to his heart, including his career, his friends, and his family.
This film rockets along at very good pace with some excellent performances from Washington and Lithgow. The supporting cast is also excellent with Kevin Pollock (Usual Suspects) as Washington's police partner and also a special mention to Ice T who normally has a great nack of being generally annoying and over the top in films, but in this feature really shines.
If you want a film with excellent action, excitement, suspense and don't mind a few scenes of genuine violence (mainly the prison escape) then this film really delivers.