Frantic (1988)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Feb 26, 1988 (USA)  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - France , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Mike DiBella

A product of his exile years in Paris, Roman Polanski's kidnap thriller rests squarely between the qualitative pillars of his classics (Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown) and the abysmal Pirates. Adopting a slow-hand style reminiscent of Hitchcock, Polanski keeps the action riveting and the suspense tight. Harrison Ford gives a strong performance as the nerve-wracked man at the end of his tether, but apart from a few pernicious Parisians, the supporting cast is missing in action. Polanski's eccentric eye and fastidious attention to detail heighten the surreal nature of what is happening to Ford's character. While the look and feel of the film are unparalleled in '80s suspense cinema, Polanski's wandering and incohesive story line detracts from its caliber. While comparisons to Hitchcock may be a bit far-flung for this film, Polanski's homage to the king of suspense is uncanny. The film's disoriented point of view reflects Polanski's feelings of alienation from America and Hollywood, although being out of touch with Hollywood may have also afforded this film its teetering credibility.