The Peacemaker (1997)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller, Glamorized Spy Film  |   Release Date - Sep 26, 1997 (USA)  |   Run Time - 119 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Karl Williams

The first motion picture release under the Dreamworks SKG label is a fairly decent attempt to mount a fast-paced, James Bond-style techno-thriller. On the plus side, the film moves along well and features some swell action sequences (a train assault, a car chase, and an attack on a bridge) thanks to the solid craftsmanship of former TV director Mimi Leder, making her big-screen debut thanks to her ER crony George Clooney. For his part, Clooney is a sturdy and believable military hero, thankfully more of the "quiet professional" type of educated modern-day soldier than a cartoon-style G.I. Joe or Rambo. Nicole Kidman is believable as a scientist and even whips up a little chemistry with her co-star, although their time sharing the same space onscreen is woefully limited. On the negative side, the whole affair is emotionally flat, sparing little time to explore or even hint at the internal lives of its protagonists, leaving the audience little to root for. Oddly, the film's chief villain, extremely well-played by Romanian actor Marcel Iures, is presented in the most sympathetic terms, leading to an odd conundrum in the finale where it's difficult to know exactly for who or what to root. The Peacemaker (1997) is a decent, professional work of a Tom Clancy- or Ian Fleming-type geopolitical suspense, but it could have been better by presenting its heroes with the same heart and soul that it does its bad guy.