Despite killing a fruitful comic book franchise just months earlier, George Clooney returned to theaters for another action film outing that somehow managed to make more than double its budget back worldwide. Although The Peacemaker won’t go down as the worst film Clooney was in during 1997, it still is definitely far from his best work as he’s relegated to a screaming soldier who plays the James Bond role well—unfortunately Bond himself has been dragged through several mediocre plots and The Peacemaker does its very best at mimicking a Brosnan outing with a stronger female component.
Sparks fly between Academy Award® winners George Clooney and Nicole Kidman who join forces to stop a nuclear terrorist in this explosive action thriller. When a train carrying atomic warheads mysteriously crashes in the former Soviet Union, brilliant U.S. nuclear specialist Dr. Julia Kelly (Kidman) discovers the accident is really part of a diabolical plot to cover up the theft of the weapons. Assigned to help her recover the missing bombs is crack Special Forces Colonel Thomas Devoe (Clooney), whose brash, take-no-prisoners style clashes with Kelly’s more diplomatic approach. Putting aside their personal differences – and budding romance – the two begin a tumultuous partnership as they track down the stolen weapons, following a deadly trail of espionage and intrigue that culminates in an unauthorized air assault inside Russian territory. Now, it’s a race against time to uncover the last missing warhead…before it’s too late.
Just about the only thing that The Peacemaker has going for it is that it’s rated R. This is kind of a juvenile thing to say, but it’s true—if it weren’t for the ability to show blood, more grotesque shoot outs or have Clooney drop the occasional F-bomb (and he seems to be the only one who does drop them, as odd as it is) then this would be a truly dull film. As I previously mentioned it’s kind of like a James Bond film with all of the evil Russian baddies (or like one of the Ford Jack Ryan films), but more importantly it’s just a very poorly executed excuse for an international terrorist film. For one thing it ends up coming back to the United States (and always New York City) and…well, I don’t even know what else to talk about.
This film is just so ridiculously mediocre. The action is decent, as are the visual effects, but the story is enough to make you fall asleep. The film went on for about fifteen minutes before anything I remotely cared about happened. I get they wanted to setup the whole Russian element of the story, but honestly after that introduction it didn’t matter—they didn’t even really bother to explain anything again after that point because they just dumped it all on us at that point. So anytime you wanted to recall an element of what the evil Russians were up to you had to remember back to those first ten minutes when you were fighting to stay awake.
Granted the film id have some fun action scenes—the car chase bit in particular was pretty well done, as was the helicopter sequence. But those are really the only interesting moments in the film—the rest are all talk-and-walk type bits where they move along the story on the American side of things; the biggest mistake the film made was also incorporating the Russian angle, as it kind of ruined the big mystery/surprise of the whole thing. For the most part you were just waiting to watch the American’s catch up to what you as an audience member already knew.
Overall the film is something you can safely Skip. Compounded by the mediocre plot is Clooney’s acting; while I wouldn’t object to watching one of his more modern productions, his earlier work was filled with those constant head-bobbling moments of his and The Peacemaker is no exception. It’s definitely not a film that has aged well and as fun as it is to battle against our ol’ friends’ the Russians, this film somehow made it dull.
Arriving in a single disc elite Blu-ray case with no slipcover and no insert, The Peacemaker sports the standard Paramount grey disc art with the film title and disc details carved in. Main menu is animated with music, while submenus are static and devoid of music. Video is an AVC encoded 1080p transfer that retains some of its 90s grit and grime. It’s a fairly nicely done transfer in the end, with plenty of detail (both of the boring and gory kind) and when paired with its rumbly DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix you get a solid presentation for an action film such as this.
• Stunt Footage
• From the Cutting Room Floor…
• Theatrical Trailer HD
Nothing new that the previous release didn’t have, so you can safely Skip this release. A bit sad that the first title released by Dreamworks was so mundane, but it could’ve been worse. It could’ve been Clooney’s other 1997 disappointment.
The Peacemaker arrives on Blu-ray on September 21st.