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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Broken Arrow (1996)



Reviews and Comments

"Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?"

John Woo returns to Hollywood with this action film that puts John Travolta and Christian Slater at odds. Woo's trademark dance-like violence and gunfire is here in great quantity; any more, and the movie would have been a simple ninety-minute explosion.

The fans of Woo's Hong Kong films were again disappointed in this, his second American film, presumably because it lacked his trademark melodrama, which adds a level of intelligence into the essentially brainless action. Another reason (that I take as a point in its favor) could be that Broken Arrow is brighter, less brooding and gruesome -- and consequently less oppressing with Woo's standard anti-violence subtext. But taken in its own right, Broken Arrow compares favorably with its American contemporaries. Hollywood can be much more far-fetched than this, and, somehow, there's enough time to involve the audience (mildly) in the characters. Hence, it becomes fairly exciting, satisfying action flick.