The Devil's Own

Bomb Rating: 

The fact that (Director Alan) Pakula missed golden opportunities to enthrall theaudience and cash in on the fame of his two stars stands as a throbbing tribute to his stunning stupidity.

It doesn't take long for "The Devil's Own" to signal that you're about to waste two hours. When what appears to be the entire British Army traps Frankie McGuire (Brad Pitt) and his IRA buddies in a house, Frankie gets away by cleverly taking advantage of that most secret of escape routes: the back door. From there, it's on to America, where he hopes to buy Stinger missiles and shoot them at theBritish, who we'd just assume get blown up anyway since they're apparently none too bright.

When Frankie gets to America, he's housed with Tom O'Meara (Harrison Ford), a New York police officer unaware of Frankie's background. Instead of the action film promised by the previews, director Alan J. ("All the President's Men) Pakula delivers "My Dinner with Harrison and Brad," in which they stand around and argue morals and ethics. The fact that Pakula missed golden opportunities to enthrall the audience and cash in on the fame of his two stars stands as a throbbing tribute to his stunning stupidity. Here are just three examples of scenes that could have turned this film into a blockbuster.

1. Clever pants removal situations. Why bother having Harrison and Brad in a movie if you're not planning to delight female audiences with plentiful shots of their assets? As a police officer, Harrison could have dropped a bullet down his trousers and announced "I've got a bullet in my trousers. I'll have to take them off now." Brad could have spilled whiskey on himself and exclaimed, "Whoops! I've spilled whiskey on my jeans! Off they go!" Patrons in neighboring theaters will grow increasingly curious about the steady chorus of delighted female screams.

2. A cameo by Carrie Fisher. She and Harrison Ford immediately embark on a torrid affair. Let's face it -- this is what was missing in the "Star Wars" rereleases. If George Lucas could computer-generate more Muppets, he could certainly engineer a good Han Solo/Princess Leia boinking festival. Mr. Pakula could then claim credit for setting things right in the universe.

3. Brad Pitt gets his face mangled in a runaway belt-sander accident. It would at least give the guys some incentive for sitting through all the frivolous butt shots.

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