Just recently discovering this on dvd, I'm actually suprised I haven't heard much about it before. A modern film noir that's a very loose remake of "Out of the Past" with Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas. The film instead focuses on gorgeous, sunny locations like Mexico and the finer locations of L.A. instead of the dark and grungy look that most film noir's follow. Jeff Bridges stars as a pro L.A. football player that gets cut because of a mild injury. Upset because he has some good years left in him, he attempts to sue the team to no avail. Broke and looking for a job, a shady past friend played by James Woods shows up with a job offer: find his girlfriend who split on him and headed to Mexico. This girlfriend also happens to be the daughter of the woman who owns the L.A. pro football team, a ruthless business woman who is primarily interested in real estate and inherited the team from her late husband. When he decides he needs a vacation and the money, he takes Woods up on his offer. After a couple days of useless searching, he finally finds her...and immediately falls in love. The femme fatale is played by Rachel Ward, a hot commodity back then, coming off of The Thornbirds. A spoiled rich princess-type, she eventually succumbs to him and the following scenes are some of the most beautiful sequences put on film. The only commercial movie that has filmed scenes in the gorgeous ancient ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum, these sequences make the film. The sex scene is one of the best I've seen, really putting a passion on the screen without becoming too...late night cinemax. Unfortunately, from here, the film plummets into a convuluted mess trying to deal with issues that seem out of place with the film: The L.A. business elite, gambling, real estate, etc. I think the film is definitely worth a watch for the first two-thirds alone. Also, dvd fans are encouraged to listen to the cast commentary. One of the better commentaries I've heard, there is a lot of great anecdotes from a rare track by Jeff Bridges and James Woods. The two leads really seem to come off as real friends joking and ribbing each other, unlike some of the stuffy professional actor commentaries that are usually the case.
The single thing that stand out most for me in this film is the very last shot of Rachel Ward looking at the camera while Phil Collins, singing the title song, says "How can I just watch you walk away, when all I can do is watch you leave". If you've ever been part of a couple where 2 people loved each other so very much, but it had to end because circumstances like jobs, school, parents, etc. made it impossible to continue, this movie is for you.If you've lived through a time in your life when you and your friends/lovers were immortal-young lions-with the world at your feet, but one day you sense a change of seasons in the air... a change that for shadows the coming of the real world you always knew was there but that you had hoped against hope to avoid, you'll love this movie. Great characters, solid performances, top notch script, beautiful natural scenery in Mexico, great soundtrack and a real "LA in the 80's" feel. For the most part the film holds up well today and the "look" is timeless. Very few holes in the plot, if any, and a fine supporting cast.
Ex football player Terry Brogran (Jeff Bridges) takes a job from sleazy friend Jake Wise (James Woods)--find his ex girlfriend Jessie Wyler (Rachel Ward) who shot him and ran away with a large amount of his cash. Terry tracks Jessie to Mexico...and immediately they fall in love. That's the first hour--the second hour becomes very convoluted with murders and double crosses all over the place.Interesting movie which is a semi-remake of "Out of the Past". In fact Jane Greer from the original plays the mother of her character here! The original was a strong, well-written film noir. This is not film noir--it's a combination romance/mystery/melodrama. Also Greer played a totally amoral woman in the original--here Ward isn't amoral, just misunderstood. Also Bridges is all pumped up and him and Ward work wonderfully together. Their frequent very R rated sex scenes really work. And it looks great--a portion of the film takes place in Mexico. Still there are definite problems here.One character, Edie (Swoosie Kurtz) is introduced to provide some REAL clumsy exposition...and doesn't pop up again until a HOUR later. I had forgotten who she was! Alex Karras is incredibly bad in his role. The plot gets way too confused. And the movie isn't sure what it wants to be. It switches gears so much I thought I was gonna get whiplash! The best part of the movie--an incredible car race down Sunset Blvd. has NOTHING to do with anything in the movie! The acting is pretty good. Bridges (in one of his few commercial films) and Ward LOOK fantastic, have great bodies and are both good in their roles. Woods is, surprisingly, pretty wooden. Greer isn't in much but she IS very good. And Richard Widmark hams it up in his small role.Also the film has a surprisingly somewhat downbeat ending. And there's a wonderful title song by Phil Collins (nominated for an Academy Award).A very interesting movie. I give it a 6. A sizable hit in its day--but that's because of the steamy sex scenes between Ward and Bridges.
Loosely based on a 1947 film noir, "Out of the Past," Taylor Hackford's "Against All Odds" has strong performances in all but the most critical role. Jessie, a confused disoriented heiress, is the romantic obsession of two men and the crux of the film's action. However, Rachel Ward fails to convince that Jessie could obsess anyone with her flat delivery and phoned-in performance. Jessie runs off to Mexico to snorkel and shop, and her gangster boyfriend hires an injured football player to find her. Sending a handsome hunky athlete off to find your girlfriend at the beach is not an inspired idea, and both the expected and the unexpected ensue. The twisted convoluted tale occasionally meanders, and the pacing falters at times. However, when the sweaty romantic scenes are over, the plot manages to re-energize and re-capture attention towards the fade out.Despite her physical beauty, Ward is the black hole at the film's center. However, her two co-stars are more captivating. James Woods can play slimy gangsters in his sleep, and his Jake Wise is appropriately chilling and creepy, which makes Jessie's attraction to him even less convincing. Evidently Jake had a brain fart when he decided to hire Terry Brogan to search for the girl who deserted him, because Jake and Terry are worlds apart in the looks and charm departments. Jeff Bridges's athletic Terry, who has history with Jake, is unwittingly drawn into a vortex of corruption during his search for Jessie. Although always watchable, Jeff Bridges has had better and more demanding roles than an injured jock playing private eye. Despite a decent script adapted by Eric Hughes from Daniel Mainwaring's original, the film's central mystery is why Jake and Terry would be hopelessly drawn to a shallow drifter like Jessie. Ward received top billing over Bridges and Woods, another mystery as baffling as any in the plot.Experienced veterans provide solid supporting performances, led by a still-handsome Richard Widmark, who, at age 70, remained a commanding presence. In a nod to film buffs, Jane Greer, star of the 1947 version, appears as Ward's cold distant mother. Location work in the Mayan temples of Mexico's Yucatan is travel-log appealing, and the end credits feature an Oscar-nominated title song by Phil Collins. An exciting car race through Los Angeles traffic is thrilling, if pointlessly reckless. Although "Against All Odds" runs more than 20 minutes longer than the 1947 original, Bridges and especially Woods are compelling enough to hold attention even when the tricky plot wanders.
I expected a cringefest, but actually ended up liking this movie a lot. Befitting its era, it has a sleazy "Miami Vice" atmosphere, complete with Porsches, Ferraris, casual jackets, big hair and a great soundtrack including a live show by the one and only Kid Creole. But there's more. Nice location shoots in Mexico - Cozumel, Tulum and Chichen Itza. Jeff Bridges and James Woods, who play fairly complex characters well. A dark script that delivers some good moments, especially during the final 30 minutes.Yes, it's a B-movie, and at times it feels like a protracted episode of Knight Rider, the A-Team or the aforementioned Miami Vice. But is that a bad thing? If you're looking for a real 80s experience, find "Against All Odds" on VHS, pop it in your VCR and soak it in.
Loosely based on Out Of The Past, this updating brings some new elements, many of which work, a few of which don't. Neat use of Jane Greer, heroine of the first film, as heroine's mother. So many new twists and turns, knowing the original will not spoil this thriller's conclusion. Only thing as per usual with Taylor Hackford, the film goes on a bit too long, but most of it is so good, you won't mind.
Parts of "Against All Odds" are absolutely magnificent. The Mexican location photography is terrific. Rachel Ward looks great as does Jeff Bridges. The chemistry between them is mostly believable. I liked James Wood's smarmy, pompous, character. Alex Karras seemed miscast, as did Richard Widmark. The story piles on a thickening plot that occasionally wanders off course, and is probably more complex than necessary. No police are involved, and bodies too conveniently disappear. The ending seems especially forced, with an outcome that is less than satisfying.The film is beautiful, however the characters are mostly unlikeable, including Rachel Ward's. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this partially flawed movie. - MERK
Anyone who has ever read Daniel Mainwaring's 1947 novel 'Out of the Past' will quickly see the connection to Hollywood's newest remake called " Against All Odds." In the 47' version it was Robert Mitchum against Kirk Douglas, the new release star's Jeff Bridges and James Woods. In the original Mainwaring story, the hero plays a detective, the second transforms him into a football player. Both are essentially hired to travel South, searching for a run-away girlfriend with stolen cash. Both find the girl and then the story becomes more convoluted than a Bavarian pretzel. The movie is fraught with twists and turns and once inside the story-line, it becomes difficult to follow who is doing what to whom. Following closely, the audience is privy to the hot-off-the-griddle love triangle between the principals. At the same time, we try as hard as we can to Follow the Money. Those who have it want more and those who ignore it, willingly trade it for personal interest. In the end, this is a particular film which warns audience members, don't take your eyes and ears off the screen or else you'll lose your place. Interesting novel, but loses something when transfered to the screen. Alex Karras, Sal Rubinek and the late great Richard Widmark, add to the re-make. But, personally, I like the original movie as the re-make will steam up your glasses. ****