I suppose there are many ways of telling a story that deals with nuclear
terrorism and while 'The Peacemaker' decides it's going to be an action film
filled with gunfire, chases and explosions, it really isn't all that
exciting. That isn't to say that it lacks merit in other areas such as
casting, location filming and brisk editing. What it boils down to is an end
result that can't escape its own predictability. If you're willing to
overlook these flaws, you will be generally entertained but never moved.
'The Peacemaker' is the first film from Dreamworks Pictures which is the
creation of Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen and they
have aimed their first film directly at the average movie goer rather than at
a more broad range of movie tastes.
George Clooney plays a military officer who leads a team to find stolen
nuclear weapons involving participants from the new Russia and Bosnia.
Nicole Kidman is a nuclear scientist working with him. She's the voice and
Clooney is the muscle in carrying out the mission. The film's first half
hour is rather difficult to follow as the characters introduced to the
audience are secondary and remain that way for the entire movie. Oddly
enough, I had the precarious feeling I was watching the set up to a James
Bond movie and that I had seen it all before. The American government, using
their satellite tracking devices from outer space, learn of the dilema and
proceed to stop it. Their search takes them to many places and the film's
climax takes place back in America.
Director Mimi Leder and screenwriter Michael Schiffer work on a similar
parallel in using extreme violence in many circumstances to make their point
and what makes 'The Peacemaker' an acceptable thriller is that both leads
(Clooney and Kidman) maintain an impressive and equal amount of talent in
proceeding to save the world. Neither one of their characters is above the
other and I thought that was appropriate. Unfortunately, this first effort
from Dreamworks takes its audience for granted most of the time and that is a
disappointing start for the new studio.
Copyright © 1997 Walter Frith