Michael Cimino made an early bid for popularity with "Thunderbolt and
Lightfoot" and for intellectual respectability with "The Deer
Hunter," then gambled away his winnings with the notorious "Heaven's
Gate" and failed comeback attempts like "Year of the Dragon"
and "The Sicilian." This year finds him back in the Cannes lineup
with "The Sunchaser," an ambitious blend of hackneyed chase scenes
and New Age hokum packaged as an intergenerational buddy movie. Woody Harrelson
stars as an LA doctor kidnapped by a 16-year-old gang-banger who wants to
find physical and spiritual peace via an Indian medicine man he's read about
in a book he stole from a prison library. There's nothing particularly wrong
with the picture as a run-of-the-mill adventure yarn, and kids will eagerly
line up for it when Warner Bros. unleashes it on shopping-mall screens this
summer. But it's hard to imagine what this barrage of brainless pyrotechnics
is doing in the world's most important film festival.