MOVIE REVIEWS

Switchback

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October 31, 1997

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By John Chard February 4, 2017

Cause he told the truth, and once you've heard the truth, everything else is just cheap whiskey.

Switchback is written and directed by Jeb Stuart. It stars Dennis Quaid, Danny Glover, Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ted Levine and William Fitchner. Music is by Basil Poledouris and cinematography by Oliver Wood.

FBI agent Frank LaCrosse (Quaid) is tracking a serial killer who he believes kidnapped his young son.

Switchback is a standard serial killer based thriller that flopped at the box office. It's not a bad film but it never delivers on its potential. The location travelogue of the story is most impressive, especially the last third once we get to the snowy mountains of Colorado, but it's the scenery that grips and holds the attention more than the plot.

The red herrings have interest value enough for us to stay with what is at just under two hours a long film, but resolutions are either anti climatic or too obvious. Cast are a mixed bag, with Quaid just okay as the perpetually bleak protag and Glover sadly winding out as miscast once film shows its hands. Thankfully Leto and Ermey are on hand to keep a rein on things, playing the intended thriller tone just right as per their respective characters.

It's perhaps unlucky to have followed far superior/intelligent serial killer based thrillers, rendering it then and now as weak offerings. It's not the dead on stinker the box office suggests, and trimmed of 20 minutes it would have been a decent time waster, but as it is it plays out as unoriginal and lacking in directorial focus. 5/10

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