Saturday, November 22, 2008

Film Review: FIREWALKER (1986, J. Lee Thompson)

Stars: 3 of 5.
Running Time: 104 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Chuck Norris, Lou Gossett, Jr., Will Sampson, Sonny Landham, John Rhys-Davies, Ian Abercrombie.
Tag-line: " A pair of down-and-out fortune hunters cash in on high adventure!"
Best one-liner(s): Will Sampson watches "I Love Lucy": "I don't know why he puts up with her. If she were mine, I'd cut off her nose."

"Stop acting like such a dad-gum sissy. You're getting as bad as that fruitcake girl." Hoo boy, what an unadulterated mess. And it's from the director of THE GUNS OF NAVARONE and the original CAPE FEAR. To be fair, he was well into his 70's, but come on! He could still get it up for Bronson in DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN. Why so lazy here? Calling this an INDIANA JONES or ROMANCING THE STONE knockoff seems far too complimentary. Clearly this is an ALLAN QUATERMAIN AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD knockoff. This movie is all over the place. The editing is incomprehensible, there's not much action to speak of, there's a fake brass-heavy MIDI soundtrack, the jokes aren't funny... and why is this movie called FIREWALKER, anyway? I guess they say the word "Firewalker" like twice, and then there's a poof of smoke and flash paper at the end. I guess that was enough. But don't get me wrong, there is a whole hell of a lot of walking in this movie, accompanied by terrible banter. Maybe they should have just taken the word "FIRE" out of the title... Oh. How clever. You see what I did just there? Yup. That's about as clever as this movie. And I think they may have blown the budget on John Rhys-Davies (who has a puzzling Southern accent) just so they could pretend it was RAIDERS?

And why does he have an earring? Lee van Cleef had an earring in THE OCTAGON. Is Chuck so egomaniacal that he makes any co-star worth his salt be subtly feminized by forcing them wear an earring? It wouldn't surprise me. Anything else they had left was spent on Oscar-winner and then hot property Lou Gossett, Jr. (who followed his Oscar win immediately with JAWS 3-D). We got awful Kathleen Turner knockoff Melody Anderson,

an emaciated Will Sampson playing an offensive stereotype,

and PREDATOR's Sonny Landham completely wasted as the villain who gets about 4 minutes of screentime.

Why did I give it 3 stars, you ask? Well, Chuck and Lou dress as priests for one scene.

Which lends itself to hilarity when they have to speak Pig Latin as the last rites over the corpse of a political prisoner. Yeah, that's why I like this movie. Cause it's tasteful.

-Sean Gill


Jack Thursby said...

Excellent. Just picked this up on DVD but have yet to watch it. Was worried I wasted some of my hard earned cash there for second.

Sean Gill said...


Hah, yeah this is a pretty wacky and typical Cannon Films endeavor. My friend over at Cannon Blog did a much more thorough and glorious writeup here, too: