Action / Adventure


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September 19, 2012 at 11:17 pm



Sylvester Stallone as Gabe Walker
John Lithgow as Eric Qualen
Michael Rooker as Hal Tucker
Janine Turner as Jessie Deighan
720p 1080p
750.44 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 52 min
P/S 8 / 40
1.65 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 52 min
P/S 9 / 24

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Michael Sibley 5 / 10

Prepare yourselves for an awesome thrill ride

Hold on for dear life as Sylvester Stallone takes you on the ride of a lifetime. With extreme non-stop action, gripping and suspense-filled scenes; Stallone has proven why he is a SUPERSTAR with his role in "Cliffhanger." I knew I would be in for an action packed treat as soon as I realized Stallone was starring in this film; however, I failed to realized how great the other actors were in this film.

Stallone is joined by Michael Rooker, Janine Turner and John Lithgow as they produce quite possibly the best action film of 1993. The cast is perfectly selected and chosen to play their parts. It was a joy to see a reversal of roles. I'm not accustomed to seeing Rooker as a hero or Lithgow as a villain; it is a refreshing change.

I couldn't have asked for a better villain than Lithgow. He is one of the most ruthless and cunning villains I've seen. I enjoyed how he never let anything get in his way and spared no expense to get what he wanted. I'm glad I got the chance to see him play the villain and hope I see it again.

Turner gives tremendous support to this film and creates an atmosphere where it is enjoyable to watch. She is the heat that warms a cold room because everytime she comes on screen it seems as though it is hot. It is a delight to see an incredible actress to have that much power. Rooker makes up the other the third of talented actors that makes "Cliffhanger" a delight to watch. Rooker brings a fresh view to the film as well as credibility; all I have to say is awesome work, Michael.

There is an avalanche of talent in "Cliffhanger." Stallone is an unstoppable force and incredible action hero. After watching "Cliffhanger," I'm convinced that Stallone was the only man for this job. Stallone had the fire in his eyes for this part that told me he means business. Only true action stars have the fire I saw; furthermore, I was fascinated with the strength, power and conviction with which he took on the role.

Another reason I enjoyed "Cliffhanger" was the writing because it contained unbelievable action sequences, a man dealing with redemption and dialogue is awesome. I was impressed to see that Stallone also co-wrote the script because he really has a knack for what action fans want.

"Cliffhanger" is a super-charged, heart-racing, suspense-filled action thrill ride that you should take because at the end it will leave you asking for more.

Reviewed by PhilipJames1980 8 / 10

Ah, nostalgia for an old-fashioned action movie!

Watching Cliffhanger makes me nostalgic for the early '90s, a time when virtually every new action movie could be described as "Die Hard in a /on a." Cliffhanger is "Die Hard on a mountain," and pretty good, for what it is.

But unlike Passenger 57 and Under Siege, which are decent Die Hard clones on their own terms, Cliffhanger dispenses with the enclosed feeling of many action movies and embraces breathtaking landscapes that, in their immensity, threaten to overwhelm and trivialize the conflicts of the people fighting and dying among the peaks.

Years before other movies like A Simple Plan and Fargo dramatized crime and murder on snowbound locations, Cliffhanger director Renny Harlin recognized the visual impact of juxtaposing brutal violence and grim struggles to survive against cold and indifferent natural surroundings.

The opening sequence has already received substantial praise, all of which it deserves: its intensity allows us to forget the artifice of the camera and the actors and simply believe that what we are seeing is actually happening. Not even Harlin's shot of the falling stuffed animal, which is powerfully effective but still threatens to become too much of a joke (and which he repeated in Deep Blue Sea), or the ridiculous expression on Ralph Waite's face, can dim the sequence's power.

The next impressive set-piece is the gunfight and heist aboard the jet. As written by Stallone and Michael France and directed by Harlin, the audience is plunged into the action by not initially knowing which agents are involved in the theft and which are not: the bloody double-crosses are completely unexpected. As Roger Ebert has observed, the stuntman who made the mid-air transfer between the planes deserves some special recognition.

Later, during the avalanche sequence, one of the terrorists/thieves appears to be actually falling as the wall of snow carries him down the mountain. So far as I know, no one was killed in the making of this movie (a small miracle, considering the extreme nature of some of the stunts), so obviously a dummy was used for the shot. But the shot itself remains impressive because we're left wondering how Harlin (or more likely one of the second-unit directors) knew exactly where to place the camera.

I'll take Sly Stallone as my action hero any day of the week, because he's one of the few movie stars I've ever seen who's completely convincing as someone who can withstand a lot of physical and emotional pain, and at the same time actually feels that pain. The role of Gabe Walker really complements Stallone's acting strengths: he plays an older, more vulnerable kind of action hero, giving an impressively low-key performance as a mountain rescuer who must redeem himself.

In contrast to many of today's post-Matrix, comic book-inspired action heroes, Stallone's Walker is an ordinary man who becomes a hero without any paranormal or computer-enhanced abilities. In Cliffhanger, the hero almost freezes to death, and his clothes start to show big tears as he barely escapes one dangerous situation after another. He winces when he's hit and bleeds when he's cut, particularly in the cavern sequence when he takes a Rocky-style pummeling from one of the mad-dog villains.

It should be noted that the utterly despicable villains really contribute to the movie's effectiveness: when I first saw this movie as a teenager, I was rooting for the good guys every step of the way and anticipating when another bad guy would bite the dust (or rather, the ice); at one point I actually cheered as one of the most cold-blooded characters in the movie deservedly suffered a violent demise.

Lithgow's British accent is as unconvincing as the movie's occasional model plane or model helicopter, but he's fundamentally a good actor, and one of the few who can perfectly recite silly dialogue: in one scene, looking at his hostages Stallone and Rooker, trying to decide which tasks to give them, he actually says "You, stay! You, fetch!" Even a better actor, such as Anthony Hopkins, might have had trouble with that line.

Even if Cliffhanger occasionally tosses credibility aside, it does so only for the sake of a more entertaining show.

Early in the movie, for example, Lithgow openly says to one of his men "Retire [Stallone] when he comes down." No real criminal mastermind would have made this mistake even unconsciously: his carelessness allows Rooker to shout a warning up to Sly on the rock face, and this precipitates a gripping tug-of-war between Stallone and the bad guys trying to pull him down by the rope tied to his leg.

Lithgow could have given his order by a more subtle means, but the sequence might not have been as much fun to watch if it hadn't given Rooker an opportunity to openly defy the arrogance of his captor.

Done very much in the style of a Saturday matinee serial or (at times) a Western, Cliffhanger is built on such a solid foundation that it survives some weak elements that would have undermined a lesser film.

Besides the painfully obvious aircraft models mentioned before, the weak moments include a couple of scenes shot on cheap indoor sets with REALLY fake snow, as well as two other scenes involving bats and wolves that seem unnecessary in an already action-packed narrative. Finally, Harlin's decision to film some of the death scenes in slow motion seems pointless, since the technique contributes nothing to the scenes.

It's a shame that Stallone is now too old for action movies, because his character in this movie seems so credible that inevitably I wonder what he would be like years later. But perhaps it's best that Cliffhanger stands on its own for all time, without a sequel: there are enough tired and obsolete movie franchises already. There was an unofficial sequel that called itself Vertical Limit: compared to that clinker, Cliffhanger belongs on the IMDb's Top 250 list.

Rating: 8 (Very good, especially considering most of Stallone's other movies.)

Reviewed by Thomas Jolliffe (supertom-3) 8 / 10

Action Classic!

Sly's best out and out action film. It is a superbly enjoyable movie with some interesting characters, solid performances and Renny Harlins direction is stylishly assured. Stallone is rarely this interesting in his action films and he certainly looks the part in terms of the action scenes. This was one of the best action films of the year and one of the most thrilling and enjoyable of the 90's, a definite genre classic. As a Stallone fan this is one I look back on with fond memories. Plenty of superb action and Sly in prime action man form. Action lovers appreciate this film because it has all the hallmarks that make a good aciton film. The film looks great and there is great support from Janine Turner, Michael Rooker and John Lithgow. ****

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