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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

8 Seconds (1994)



Reviews and Comments

The title 8 Seconds refers to the amount of time a cowboy must stay on and ride a wild bull in a rodeo contest. The film is a melodrama about a cowboy and his life inside and outside the ring. To put it bluntly, there probably isn't anything here you haven't already seen in countless other melodramatic movies or television shows -- 8 Seconds predictably follows every requisite plotline that comprises the formula of the modern drama. It's a given that, for example, he'll be injured in the ring, and he may or may not ever be able to compete in the rodeo again. It's a given that, for example, that either he or his wife or both are going to have affairs and that this will cause a lot of overacted emotional scenes between them where they stare hurtfully at each other for long periods of time. This last is a particular annoyance to me. Do people really have so little self-control that affairs just "happen" all over the place all the time, and though it causes a lot of hurt, it's always someone else's fault, or no one's in particular? And do screenwriters really think this is an intrinsically entertaining plotline? Unfortunately, even ignoring this admittedly personal peeve, there's not a whole lot of originality or flair to recommend this uninspired film.