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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Absolute Power (1997)

A career thief (Clint Eastwood, who also directed) is in the middle of a robbery when the woman (Melora Hardin) of the house comes in with a man (Gene Hackman) who is not her husband. He watches as the man starts slapping the woman around during sex and when she attempts to defend herself with a paper knife, she is shot to death by two men ... members of the Secret Service because the woman's lover is the President Of The United States! Based on the best selling novel by David Baldacci, there are considerable changes from the book. The book's main character is totally eliminated and the focus of the film is on Eastwood's character who is killed off in the book but now becomes the film's hero. Despite its improbably far fetched plot, this is a crackerjack thriller. My only real complaint is the ridiculousness of the way some characters come and go in places they should not be (like the hospital room of a key witness) with ease. But, of course, hospital security is inconvenient and would only gum up the suspense. But Eastwood's first rate direction overcomes some of the sloppier aspects of hack screenwriter William Goldman's script. With Laura Linney, Ed Harris, Judy Davis, Scott Glenn, Dennis Haysbert and in his final film role, E.G. Marshall.

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