Against All Odds | Chicago Reader

Against All Odds

It's hard to see why Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman) wanted to remake Jacques Tourneur's classic film noir Out of the Past: he spends the first half of the movie trying to establish a plausible 1984 context for the 1947 plot, and the second half struggling to twist Tourneur's fatality into a typically bland 1980s happy ending. Robert Mitchum's disillusioned detective has been replaced by Jeff Bridges's down-and-out professional football player, and Jane Greer's frightening femme fatale has become Rachel Ward's confused but well-meaning rich girl. Little remains of the original but its weakest element—its overelaborate intrigue—and Hackford seems only to scramble it further. His habitual slickness seems to have deserted him entirely here, but in its absence he shows himself as a not untalented director of actors: Bridges is excellent, Ward better than usual, and there is a nice run of supporting bits from James Woods, Alex Karras, Richard Widmark, and Greer herself, back in fine form. 128 min.

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