Film Scouts Reviews

"Absolute Power"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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"Absolute Power" is a thriller with a few flaws but if I tell you what they are, it will mean that you won't enjoy the last quarter of a very good movie. And besides, Clint Eastwood directs/produces/acts this suspenseful film right through any rough spots. As Luther Whitney, he is a master thief who witnesses a murder while committing a heist. Who commits the murder is not really too big of a surprise thanks to the commercials, but it is artfully revealed for those who have managed to somehow escape the over-exposure by the marketing department. At this point the film really picks up thanks to William Goldman's script and the brilliant cast of Scott Glenn, Dennis Haysbert, Ed Harris, Judy Davis, Gene Hackman, and Laura Linney. Glenn is a good Secret Service agent and Haysbert a bad one. Harris is a sharp homicide detective who is trying to nab Hackman, the murderer, while Davis tries to protect him. And intertwined is the story of Eastwood's estranged daughter, well portrayed by Linney. (Also Intertwined is a father/daughter story behind the camera as well - watch for Alison Eastwood as the Art Student and Kimber Eastwood the White House Tour Guide). It is the father-daughter relationship that gives the story depth and dimension and elevates it above the common heist tale.

There is only one scene I will quibble with: as Eastwood tries to build tension before a cafe meeting, we watch two separate assassins set up their equipment, assemble guns and blow on bullets. All of this is supposed to build tension but it gave me too much time to think. And what I thought was, 'this is a Clint Eastwood movie and he isn't going to get blown away. It would mean that the supporting actress, Laura Linney would have to assume a much more central role.' Maybe Eastwood should hire me to do some last minute editing. But this is only one questionable scene out of many in an overall good movie. What are a few little plot holes among friends and fans? Rated R, from Castle Rock.

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