Val Kilmer is found, shot in the head and near death, outside the middle-of-nowhere desert town of Blackpoint. When he comes to in the hospital, he has total amnesia. But as flashes of his memory return, he becomes convinced that an attempt will be made to kill the President. No one believes him, including Neve Campbell, who shows up claiming to be his fiancee. No one, that is, except perhaps Sheriff Sam Shepard, who wonders if there might not be something to this man’s beliefs after all.
Though the convolutions and twists at the climax make the resolution a little hard to follow, this is otherwise a compact, taut suspenser, with Kilmer doing an excellent job as the confused, frightened protagonist. Shepard is fun, too, though Campbell seems too young for her part. The small desert town setting is used to good effect, and the amnesia device, though an old chestnut, is shown to still have plenty of life left in it. There are echoes, right down to the resolution of Somewhere in the Night, and this all boils down to an hour and a half of solid entertainment.
The audio comes in both 5.1 and 2.0. The 5.1 is rather disappointing, with very weak rear speaker representation for both the music and sound effects. The 2.0 is much stronger in this department, though one misses, of course, the extra separation one would get with the 5.1. The dialogue is also prone to the occasional bit of buzz.
The picture is better, being a solid 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The image is sharp. Skin tones, colours, contrasts and blacks are all very strong. There is no edge enhancement, nor any grain to speak of. There’s a bit of artifacting going in one of the bar scenes, but otherwise this is a good-looking piece of work.
Other than a clutch of trailers, there are two featurettes here. “The Cutting Room” deals with the editing of the film, and shows how it was transformed from its first cut, and “Music by Machine Head” focuses on the music. Both are better than the usual promotional featurette. The menu’s main screen, intro and transitions are animated and scored.
It won’t set the film world on fire, but viewers looking for an engaging thriller will not be disappointed.
Special Features List
- “The Cutting Room” Featurette
- “Music by Machine Head” Featurette