With all the heavy hitters on hand for Continental Divide -- star John Belushi, director Michael Apted, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, producer Steven Spielberg -- you'd expect something more distinctive than lightly comic romantic fluff, whose primary theme is "opposites attract." This is not to say that Continental Divide fails at carrying out its slight intentions, just that viewers might be surprised by the low yields from that kind of collision of talent. Belushi fans will definitely want to see this film, as it was his penultimate theatrical release, and hinted at what he might have been capable of beyond pratfalls. It's never quite believable that Blair Brown's eccentric eagle tracker would fall for Belushi's chain-smoking columnist -- nor is she half as eccentric as such a mountain recluse would likely be. In this way and others, including Belushi trying to humorously fend off the attacks of several wild animals, Continental Divide slouches toward a sitcom middle ground. Apted is better off when he lets Belushi's abilities lend natural whimsy to everyday exchanges, rather than resorting to more high-concept set pieces that don't work, such as the pair's interactions with a former football great-turned-mountain man. Kasdan's script also gets a little soppy near the end with a protracted series of false goodbyes. In part because it was such a departure for Belushi, his core audience failed to drive Continental Divide to the box-office heights of Animal House and The Blues Brothers, leaving it as something of a flop. Over time, it has come to be thought of as a more fond and dignified way to remember Belushi than just as a bellowing buffoon.
by Derek Armstrong review