Top positive review
A great thriller with tension, twists and top quality acting.
on 1 January 2015
People's views on this 1987 American political thriller usually revolve around what they make of the final twist which comes a few minutes from the end of the movie. It certainly upends your views of the main characters and there are only a few clues in the earlier events which hint at it. That makes the final twist rather jarring and for me, therefore, all the more enjoyable especially as once you know it, some of the apparently improbable coincidences earlier in the story become much more believable as the result of someone's deliberate positioning of themselves.
But even if you don't like the final twist, there's much to enjoy in the run up, all of which is based on the novel The Big Clock with the key idea of the central character (an American naval officer played by Kevin Costner in the movie) finding themselves in charge of an investigation to identify someone... who in fact they know secretly is themselves.
Gene Hackman's acting as the American politician however steals the movie for me, with its adept showing of both the good and bad sides of politicians, making his character a plausible flawed human and neatly switching between gravitas and shrunken vulnerability as the plot progresses. The different ways he sits in his office chair to match the changing character are a brilliant little demonstration of acting skill.