Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday's Ovelooked Film: Jacob's Ladder

I saw this film by Adrian Lyne in 1991 or 1992 when it ran for a week in Tampere, the town where I was living at the time. I saw it twice, first in the press screening and then on the last day before it left town and almost disappeared from my view. I thought it was a very well made drama with a touch of horror and absurd in it, permeated with sadness. I also thought it must've been Lyne's best film.

Then the other day last week I was shopping at the thrift store and noticed a VHS cassette in a box with "Take free" sign on it. I always check these out. This particular cassette turned out to be Jacob's Ladder which I hadn't seen since 1991 or 1992. I watched it and persuaded Elina to watch it with me. She was hooked and also sad in the ending when the guy that Tim Robbins plays makes contact with his dead son. The same with me. I thought the film is still Lyne's best (I haven't seen them all, but enough to be able to say this) and the sadness of the film was still intriguing, alongside with the horror scenes, but now I should say the ending is weak. It seems to take away everything that's been said before.

I won't give away spoilers, though, suffice to say this all has to do with Vietnam. More Overlooked Films at Todd Mason's blog here.


Todd Mason said...

Yes, to say that the (ridiculously cliched) ending was weak (and smearing McCauley Culkin's lips with glycerin for his appearances creepy to say the least) is kind. Given how good, at least, Tim Robbins and Elizabeth Pena were in the film, the script really lets them down. This was one of a knot of eschatological US horror films at about that time (FLATLINERS, GHOST, DEF BY TEMPTATION were the other ones that didn't work for me; THE RAPTURE, slightly later, finally was one that did).

JD Rhoades said...

I remember being so pissed at the ending that my wife had to talk me out of storming into the manager's office and demanding a refund.

Howard Sherman said...

Sounds like the kind of moving film I would enjoy! I just put it into my Netflix queue. Thanks for sharing!

Juri said...

Sorry, guys, for keeping your comments waiting for so long! Yes, the ending is weak, but it doesn't ruin the whole movie for me.