Review: ‘The Vanishing’

Some last-reel thrills and cathartic violence provide commercial oomph to the otherwise tedious thriller The Vanishing. Dutch director George Sluizer had the rare chance to remake his own 1988 Spoorloos in America. Unfortunately this version, scripted by Todd Graff, is schematic and unconvincing.

Some last-reel thrills and cathartic violence provide commercial oomph to the otherwise tedious thriller The Vanishing. Dutch director George Sluizer had the rare chance to remake his own 1988 Spoorloos in America. Unfortunately this version, scripted by Todd Graff, is schematic and unconvincing.

Film introduces Jeff Bridges as the villain at the outset, rehearsing methods of chloroforming victims and plotting kidnappings. He’s a happily married school teacher but with a Nietszchean complex.

Parallel story has Kiefer Sutherland and g.f. Sandra Bullock on vacation from Seattle driving past Mount St. Helens when, after a row that hints at possibilities of a break-up, she suddenly disappears from a rest stop. Sutherland goes crazy looking for her; the police don’t help as there’s no evidence of foul play. Fade out to three years later and Sutherland’s obsession with finding her has continued.

The ultimate chilling climax of the original is repeated in the remake, but with 25 minutes to go and with very little impact. Unlike the subtle acting of Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu in the original, Bridges adopts an odd gait, curious manner, and an on-and-off accent that are distracting and spoil his performance. Sutherland comes off as a wimp.

The Vanishing

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director George Sluizer; Producer Larry Brezner, Paul Schiff; Screenplay Todd Graff; Camera Peter Suschitzky; Editor Bruce Green; Music Jerry Goldsmith; Art Director Jeannine C. Oppewall

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Jeff Bridges Kiefer Sutherland Nancy Travis Sandra Bullock Maggie Linderman Lisa Eichhorn
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading