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Arctic Blue

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Arctic Blue

Starring: Rutger Hauer, Dylan Walsh
Director: Peter Masterson
Rated: R
RunTime: 95 Minutes
Release Date: January 1993
Genres: Action, Drama

*Also starring: Richard Bradford, Rya Kihlstedt

Review by Dragan Antulov
1 star out of 4

Those who are prone to mistake Hollywood's products for reality shouldn't watch NORTHERN EXPOSURE. For them, Alaska might have look like a better place to live than Hawaii. However, in the meantime, there were those movies who offered alternative version of Alaska - closer to the vision of cold, harsh place of Jack London's novels, or the frontier of an American Wild West. In such wilderness, adventure is still possible, but also close encounters with the characters who many of us wouldn't like to see in our neighbourhoods. One of such characters is Ben Corbett (played by Rutger Hauer), hardened trapper who is prone to violence. In one of such incidents, small row between his friends and rival hunters ends with bloodshed. Among all of them, Ben is caught and accused of murder. However, before he faces trial, he must be transported from isolated town to proper authorities. This is the job for environmentalist Eric Desmond (Dylan Walsh), who would soon find that murderer's friends are ready to do anything in order to save their friend.

When they think about the plot, filmophiles among the audience would probably find a lot resemblance to the classic 1957 western 3:10 TO YUMA. Similarities aren't accidental - this film really looks like western. Unfortunately, faced with somewhat small budget, director Peter Masterson doesn't direct ARCTIC BLUE like western. Instead, it often baffles audience with shots more appropriate to experimental video. Screenplay by Ross LaManna is bellow par, with clear story diluted with poorly written, yet morally ambiguous characters, and also with unnecessary elements of environmentalist propaganda. Casting is also rather bad, especially in the case of awfully inept Rya Kihlstedt in the role of Eric's girlfriend. Luckily, Rutger Hauer, same as in many similar instances lately, saves this basically forgettable piece of low budget cinema with his screen personality. Also, some of the action scenes are impressive. But, in the end, ARCTIC BLUE is a film with the flaws that outweigh its virtues.

Copyright 1999 Dragan Antulov

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