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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Retro Review: Hero (1992)

Hero (AKA Accidental Hero in the UK & Ireland)
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia, Joan Cusack, Tom Arnold
Genre: Comedy Drama
U.S Box Office Gross: over $19 million 

Plot: A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit 

'Comedy-Drama That Is More A Zero'

A gigantic box office flop back in 1992, watching Hero starring Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis and Andy Garcia, though it is not outright horrible, the film is bogged down by superfluous conversations that go on forever, bland dialogue and a poor script. Right after the multi-million successes of Hook and Thelma and Louise, sadly, Hoffman and Davis were brought back down to earth with a bump through this flawed and unmemorable comedy.

A cynical & glum- looking Bernard saves news reporter, Gale along with 54 people onboard during a plane wreckage and manages to slip away without being recognised and identified. Gale goes out of her way to get hold of Bernard, but another guy by the name of John Bubber seeks to claim credit for Bernie's heroics when a $1 million reward is up for grabs just by revealing the identity of the 'hero'. & with that, Bernie wallows in jail. 

Hero is a so-called comedy-drama that flip-flops between being a satire on the media and a sentimental uplifting morale, and when it does so, rather than getting sparks and excitement, the film eventually fizzles out although it still manages to all come together in the end. 

The main problem with this film is that the material can be so overstuffed and entrenched, one can lose interest easily and not give a damn. I can see what this movie is about: it's about making amends and turning over a new leaf and redeeming oneself, yet in this film, it is conceived in such as tepid and boring way that lacks any real interest or to make me want to care for the main characters. That, and some of the storylines just don't seem to be going anywhere and what you get is a very uneven and confusing effort. 

As great an actor Dustin Hoffman is, I must say, he was miscast as Bernard: he just doesn't strike me as the type of actor who would play such a dislikeable douche. The leads in Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis and Andy Garcia each give modest individual performances at best; however, their characters were just not relatable and appealing enough. Bernhard is Ratzo Rizzo: a meaner, and dare I say it a more irritating version of his other character from Midnight Cowboy. Although later on, he does show a bit of his soft side by admitting he screwed up on the phone to his wife, played by Joan Cusack. Bubber rides on the coattails of Bernie and is fraudulently taking credit for something he didn't do, whilst Gale acts and goes about her job like a ruthless investigative reporter who would go to any lengths to get the scoop she needs. 

As far as the comedy aspect goes, there are one or two earlier moments in the film, but other than this, this is sorely underplayed and it goes awry. The twist of this film is that the imposter is the all-round good guy and Bernard isn't. 

Hero is easily one of Dustin Hoffman's weaker film outings and for me is even less watchable than Ishtar, Hoffman's other comedy and notorious flop, and whilst it is good to occasionally see him pop up in comedy and light-hearted films, as he is usually more renowned for his dramatic roles, this one just didn't offer more which was good, amusing and entertaining. 

Final Verdict:

Surprisingly with so many plot holes and not enough entertaining and memorable moments to speak of, Hero was written by David Webb Peoples, the same guy who had a hand in Twelve Monkeys and the original Ridley Scott classic, Blade Runner. Nonetheless, this film is overlong with some cloying material and a half-hearted script, and yet with a bit more of a zip and wit thrown into the mix & 30 mins trimmed off, Hero would be far more redeemable. 

And it is the nature of the script that truly lets its performers down. 

Thus, Hero makes its star performers Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia and Geena Davis look more like zeroes. 


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