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Vanishing Point (1997)

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When his wife goes into a troubled labor while he is on the road over 1200 miles away James Kowalski, a former race-car driver and Army Ranger, attempts to elude police while trying to get ... See full summary »

Writers:

Malcolm Hart (story) (as Malcom Hart), Guillermo Cabrera Infante (earlier screenplay) (as Guillermo Cain) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Viggo Mortensen ... Jimmy Kowalski
Christine Elise ... Raphinia Kowalski
Steve Railsback ... Sergeant Preston
Rodney A. Grant ... Vision Quest Indian
Peter Murnik ... Gilmore
James MacDonald ... Asst. F.B.I. Agent (as James G. MacDonald)
Paul Benjamin ... Mose, Snake Wrangler
Geno Silva Geno Silva ... Mike Mas
John Doe ... Sammy
Peta Wilson ... Motorcycle girl
Keith David ... Warren Taft
Jason Priestley ... The Voice
Debra Sharkey Debra Sharkey ... Producer
Ari Barak Ari Barak ... Dr. Nazrin
Frank Roman Frank Roman ... Hernando
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Storyline

When his wife goes into a troubled labor while he is on the road over 1200 miles away James Kowalski, a former race-car driver and Army Ranger, attempts to elude police while trying to get home. After numerous chases, he turns into a aboriginal American reservation and reflects on his life, and his wife. He then heads off to break through an impenetrable police and F.B.I. road-block. Written by Kale Whorton <nikko11@mind.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 January 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vanishing Point See more »

Filming Locations:

Tubac, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The black 1968 Charger is a nod to another movie, Bullitt (1968). See more »

Goofs

The FBI does did not share a common radio frequency with the Utah Highway Patrol in 1996, so their radio transmissions would not have been audible, and the agencies could not talk to each other as shown. See more »

Quotes

The Voice: When we are all criminals, who is free?
See more »

Connections

Remake of Vanishing Point (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Utterly forgettable, utterly pointless, utterly insipid, utterly dull
9 March 2003 | by roarshockSee all my reviews

What made the original Vanishing Point a classic was that everyone was free to read their own meaning into it... or read no meaning at all and just watch the Challenger roar through the desert. What motivates Kowalski? Decipher it from his actions and flashbacks, or just ignore the question entirely. The film is still magnificent either way.

But the studio thought this uncertainty made it too esoteric back in 1971, so it was cut and given a limited release in the expectation of a quick death. But far from vanishing, the original Vanishing Point became recognized as one the GREAT road movies of all time.

This remake shows that Hollywood hasn't changed much. They love remaking a classic (hopefully guaranteeing an audience), but they still think that everything needs to be made both very obvious and very very simple. So they get rid of all the classic elements and turn it into a generic chase movie. They give Kowalski a really REALLY simple, obvious reason for his drive, making his flashbacks and encounters purely superfluous. And being superfluous they are populated with trite two dimensional caricatures... boring fluff that could be disposed of without diminishing this movie at all, slight though it is. This is entirely unlike the original which had interesting, unusual people that added to the story and gave context to the nature and character of Kowalski.

And that clunky, mass market mysticism thrown into the remake? ANY film is better off without that!!!

They also decided to make a federal case out of Kowalski's run... literally. It's not enough that state cops will naturally chase people who run from them (as in the original, and assign a symbolic meaning - or not - to that if you wish). In the remake they pound you again and again with a clumsy blunt-object polemic about the government and militias, with the FBI, ATF etc ultimately all ganging up on Kowalski.

The people who spawned this remake obviously read their own meanings into the original... that's the quality it has that makes it great. But instead of opening up any meanings we might find in their new version for us to discover ourselves, they forced on us that single reading of theirs alone. Unfortunately, that one narrow focus vastly shrank the appeal of the remake to something less than a vanishing point. The end result wasn't worth the wasting of either the Charger or the Challenger, let alone the both of them.


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