1994 is often referred to as the year of the action movie!
Keanu Reeves tried to save himself as well as a bunch of innocent passengers on the wildest bus ride in Hollywood history. Arnold Schwarzenegger needlessly tried to keep his work and private life separated, only to end up fighting terrorists with his wife by his side. And Meryl Streep tried to keep her family out of harm’s way from bad guy Kevin Bacon on one of the most ferocious rivers in America.
Those movies are: Speed, True lies and The river wild. Three toppers – three masterful action movies!
Wesley Snipes tried to impress that same year with Drop zone. At first everything seems to be going the right way, but before too long the movie plunges into the wrong direction. It’s not a bad movie by far, but it never reaches the same momentum nor quality of the aforementioned classic action pictures.
As soon as the first guitar tunes crash across the screen, you’re well aware as a viewer that this ride is gonna be a thrill! Unfortunately this is one action movie that never rises above the average.
Main reason is that almost all action sequences take place in mid-air, during a free fall out of a plane. It’s pretty neat and the scenes themselves are beautifully choreographed. But as a director and/or actor there is not a lot to work with in this endlessly-expansive vacuum. There’s not much more that you can do than waving your arms and legs around. In the end it’s all about the same thing: you drop in the sky until you have to pull a string to open a parachute (that hopefully works!) to avoid getting splattered all over the ground.
One aerial scene tops anything else in the movie. It’s when a whole group of people form a double circle holding hands. Both from above and below it makes for a wonderful shot – but this moment seems to be more like something you’d see on a sports television channel rather than an action movie.
And that’s about all there is. Wesley Snipes has one last opportunity to shine as some sort of a black Bruce Lee (like he did many times over in his breakthrough movie Passenger 57) in which he swings his legs around and takes care of no less than 3 men in a dirty public toilet.
The most endearing member of the entire cast isn’t Wesley Snipes (who is only as good as the movies he’s in). It’s also not Gary Busey. Here’s an actor whose face is more familiar than his name ever will be. Busey plays the big baddie of the movie – something he also did on the first Lethal weapon – but his acting as well as the character he tries to enliven is nothing more than a whiff of cold air.
The one who breathes a stream of hot air into this movie, is actress Yancy Butler (no relation to Gerard). She shows remarkable similarities with a young Angelina Jolie, but it’s not so much her looks that inspire as much as her smooth appearance with which she portrays her character. From minute one you adore this person, because she represents the stronger woman. The one who is undaunted in what she does.
Lastly there is also the ludicrous and edgy computer-expert played by Michael Jeter, who would end up doing a similar character in the classic The green mile as the mouse-nursing convict. Jeter is the only one who gives the film its much-needed comical relief.
The only other goofy act should have come from Kyle Secor, but the man is just as funny as a broken parachute not opening when diving out of an airplane.
did you know?
If you unscramble Wesley Snipes’ character name Nessip, you get Snipes.
Give it to me straight:
Drop zone is a movie that’s hardly worth your time. The large setup of marvelous aerial action scenes are beautifully choreographed, but in hindsight it dies nothing really to tell the story.
There is a sincere lack of diversity in terms of action, meaning the only action takes place in the air with people falling down, and eventually pulling their parachute strings. It’s always the same scenario all over again!
The handful of bad guys in this movie walk around aimlessly from one crime to the next without having to want to achieve a certain goal. Because of this the story looks messy, which downplays the tension of the action scenes.
Generally speaking, this movie might just be good enough for a relaxing evening, but it’s far from decent enough to start spending any money to buy it on DVD/Blu-ray.
The filmmakers had better dropped their act, coz now they’re in a bad zone …