A year after losing his friend in a tragic 4,000-foot fall, former ranger Gabe Walker and his partner, Hal, are called to return to the same peak to rescue a group of stranded climbers, only to learn the climbers are actually thieving hijackers who are looking for boxes full of money.
Superb actioner from Sly and the gang.
Gabe Walker (Sylvester Stallone) is an expert climber, but after a tragic incident leaves a girl dead, he leaves the mountains to get his head together. After his self imposed break he returns in the hope of rekindling a relationship with Jessie (Janine Turner). Whilst at the rescue centre he is called to help a group who are stranded in the mountains, he agrees to help out this one last time, unaware that the group in the mountains are heavily armed murderous thieves and they need help of another kind...
Directed by Renny Harlin, this is one of those films that shows that Stallone once had box office clout as big as his bodily frame. It's a delightful no brain action film that delivers royally to those with a bent for the action genre. What really lifts Clifhanger above average is the wonderful use of suspenseful situations. The film opens with a quite breath taking sequence and then kicks on to literally have us hanging on by our fingernails. The bad guys are deliciously over the top, none more so than the bullishly nasty John Lithgow as Eric Qualen, whilst Sly gets beefcake support from the ever reliable Michael Rooker. Cinematography by Alex Thomson is gorgeous as he brings to life the Cortina d'Ampezzo area of the Dolomites in Italy. Score is by Trevor Jones, who keeps it orchestral as he lifts from his own work for Last of the Mohicans, which in turn is mixed with what sounds like the lead theme of Alan Silvestri's work on Predator.
Slam bang action, tense fraught moments, and a script written with knowing tongue in cheek persuasion, Cliffhanger literally does ROCK. 7.5/10
RCS Video, Cliffhanger Productions, Pioneer, Canal+, Carolco Pictures, TriStar Pictures by Renny Harlin, John Long, Michael France, Sylvester Stallone.
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Keywords: mountain rocky mountains airplane hijacking suitcase climbing heist money snow mountain climbing
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