By Alan Scherstuhl
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Carolina Del Busto
By Amy Nicholson
By Simon Abrams
By Kevin Dilmore
By New Times
By Amy Nicholson
So there they are, heading down the river, being tracked by the villains, and then suddenly they're on dry land . . . in Missoula . . . stealing a car. (That was easy.)
There are crucially unclear setups: Is Elvis an explosive or a biological agent, or both? If it's an explosive, then the good guys' plan to secure it in the climax makes no sense; if it's not an explosive, then simply keeping it in its original metal container after it melts should do the trick.
Perhaps the most irritating goof of all is when Brynner gives Tim 15 minutes to deliver Elvis to him. When Tim hands the stuff over, all but the least savvy viewers will guess that Tim has made a switch; but most people in the audience will wonder how, in 15 minutes minus travel time, Tim has managed to mock up an exact duplicate of Elvis and its container, using only what can be found in a small dry goods store. Or why we then see Tim transporting Elvis outside of its canister but see it moments later mysteriously back inside the original canister, or in a perfect facsimile.
This isn't just nit-picking. Okay, so Tim can climb ladders and fight off bad guys despite having just taken a bullet to the leg. Why not? But these other sorts of errors -- errors in crucial plot matters and errors in setting up the rules of the game -- undercut any chance of suspense. How can we care about what happens in a universe where the gods can (and do) arbitrarily wave their magic wands and change the laws of logic on a whim?
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