[box cover]

Against All Odds

Quintessential '80s director Taylor Hackford used only the bare bones of the film noir classic Out of the Past as inspiration for this contrived yet somehow very watchable exotic thriller. Jeff Bridges stars as Terry Brogan, a veteran pro footballer on waivers and painkillers, and in desperate need of employ. Old crony Jake (James Woods), now a powerful bookie and nightclub weasel, hires him to track down an estranged lover escaped to Mexico. Reluctantly, Terry agrees, and not only finds seductive Jessie (Rachel Ward) but falls in love with her, running him afoul of seedy Jake and his powerful associates. Hackford, fresh off An Officer and a Gentleman, wrings sweaty atmosphere from the Mexican locales, aided by some steamy chemistry between Bridges and Ward and a typically slimy turn from Woods. But toward the end, all of the carefully overplanned plotting unravels into contrivance, and the last 20 minutes are spent waiting for Phil Collins' irresistible sappy love song "Take a Look At Me Now" to roll in over the end credits. Presented in an adequate 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and 2.0 Dolby Surround. Includes one commentary track with Hackford and screenwriter Eric Hughes, and another with Hackford, Bridges and Woods. Also includes trailers, seven deleted scenes (with optional comentary by Hackford), and music videos for Collins' anthem and "My Male Curiosity" by the underwhelming Kid Creole & the Coconuts.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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