review for Blown Away on AllMovie

Blown Away (1994)
by Karl Williams review

A political subtext that's used merely for window dressing and never amounts to anything interesting in terms of character or story is the Achilles heel of this thriller that's not really about people, but massive pyrotechnic displays. An immigrant protagonist atoning for his secret terrorist sins by enforcing the law is the promising setup for what should subsequently develop into a wild ride of suspenseful action sequences and strong character development. There's even a cool, somewhat subversive theme being hinted at about the naïve immigrant belief that the American dream can erase a shady past. That's a lot of depth for an action flick and it seems that director Stephen Hopkins and a band of screenwriters are about to deliver substance to the little-glimpsed, frequently longed-for Holy Grail of summer tent pole pictures. It's not to be, however, as the villain, all too predictably, is motivated by the insane vengefulness of a giggling comic-book bad guy. Then there's the hero, who chases from one obstacle to another like a jackrabbit with ADD, and a lot of stuff the audience has not been encouraged to care much about blowing up in spectacular fashion. Blown Away starts with a bang, but lacks depth, rapidly leaving viewers shell shocked and numb to its increasingly annoying crescendo of violence and mayhem.