11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2001
While being a bit dated now, both in terms of setting and special effects, this film still manages to keep your attention throughout.
Well worth a watch, though it would have been nice to add a few extras.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2009
Gene Hackman gives a stunning performance in this fast moving post cold war conspiracy thriller. Gene hackman is tasked with bringing Tommy Lee Jones (TLJ)a renegade soldier(the package)back to the US for court martial. All is not what it seems when the packgage goes missing and people start to have accidents. TLJ also excels as the bad guy with a mysterios past. The formula of two super actors certainly works with this movie
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This movie has always seemed to me to be one of the most efficient, best crafted of its type, the military suspense thriller. And one of the most under-rated, too.
Gene Hackman stars as Sergeant Johnny Gallagher, an Army lifer who finds himself up to his ears in a ruthless conspiracy to assassinate the Soviet leader when the man visits Chicago. Gallagher had been stationed in West Berlin. His squad failed to stop the assassination of a U.S. Army general who had been taking part in a top military meeting in the outskirts of Berlin. Semi-disgraced, he is given the job of escorting an Army sergeant under arrest, the package, to Washington. But he's mugged in the D.C. airport and the prisoner escapes. Then he discovers the photo of the prisoner doesn't match the guy he was escorting. As he tries to find out what's going on, people start getting killed.
This movie works, I think, for several reasons. First, we know what's going on before Gallagher does, so there is the pleasure of watching him figure things out. There is a conspiracy, we realize, involving top U.S. and Soviet generals to sabotage the signing of a nuclear disarmament treaty. This will be done by killing the Soviet leader in Chicago on a visit to sign the treaty. The assassin, Tommy Lee Jones, is being provided by the senior American officers taking part in the plot. Gallagher at first stumbles around, but slowly, using his intelligence and with the help of the few friends he can count on, he begins to put things together. We know where this is going, but the fun is in seeing how Gallagher thinks and then acts. Second, Hackman's performance, as usual, is excellent. Hackman was 59 when he made this movie, but he is every bit believable as a shrewd, action-focused Army sergeant. He's nearly matched by Tommy Lee Jones as the cynical, amused hit man who doesn't respect anyone. Dennis Franz as a tough Chicago cop and John Heard as a ruthless Army colonel both give first-rate performances. Third, Andrew Davis keeps the movie moving quickly, with clues discovered, shoot-outs, near misses, chases. The plot is complicated, but Davis plays fair. Watch the movie again and it still makes sense.
It's interesting to compare this movie or The Fugitive, both by Davis, with an other good movie he directed, Holes. The Package and The Fugitive couldn't be more different than Holes, but all three, in my view, are very well handled. The DVD transfer is very good.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I always find Hackman watchable and although Jones doesn't have as much to do, he does have a strong screen presence. The tale involving a high level conspiracy to scupper a nuclear treaty is entertaining enough and with Andrew Davis at the helm, it nips along quite nicely without being boring. The cold, urban locations lend a steely air to the proceedings and the supporting cast including Dennis Franz and Joanna Cassidy are solid. Davis seems to favour a harsh landscape and the feel of the film, in terms of setting, is familiar to his work on Code of Silence and the Fugitive. Hackman carries the film and although the viewer knows what is going on, it's interesting to watch him figure out and foil the dastardly plot.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2014
Johnny Gallagher is sent from Germany with a prisoner. The prisoner escapes from the men's room at National Airport and Hackman begins his search for his man.
Enlisting the help of his ex-wife and various old friends, he finds that the prisoner is part of a plot by senior military personnel on both sides.
Their aim is to kill a very high-ranking world figure in order to sabotage arms control talks....
For a film directed by a seasoned action auteur, and staring behemoths like Hackman and Jones, the film is really boring and mundane in places.
Made in a time when film makers thought that audiences would be enthralled by stuffy men in rooms talking a lot, a lot of the cast are wasted, and the action scenes are just a montage of men with moustaches chasing Hackman and co.
Hackman and Jones are great though, and when they share the screen, the film blisters in entertainment, but it isn't long enough.
The last ten minutes are interesting and Davis does an amazing job of the climax, but we have to trawl through a mundane set up before the end.