Walking the Edge (1985)

Genres - Action, Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Though it was marketed as a hard-hitting revenge thriller, Walking The Edge only halfway delivers on that agenda. It opens and closes with a bang and delivers the occasional punch-up or bit of mayhem in-between but the film is actually more of a character story. Curt Allen's script devotes an equal amount of time to the midlife crisis experienced by and how he copes with his desire to stop being beaten down by life. Unfortunately, the script doesn't really figure out how to make the two plotlines parallel each other effectively until the last third of the film and there are some dead spots in the first hour as a result. Also, Norbert Meisel's direction lacks the taut quality the material needs: he gets solid performances but his cinematic technique is rather flat and workmanlike when it comes to capturing action of suspense. Thankfully, the film boasts an excellent performance from Robert Forster: he brings a lot of charm and a convincing world-weariness to the role, making him compelling even when the story surrounding him loses its footing. There's also an effective, menacing turn by Joe Spinell as the film's main villain. In short, Walking The Edge is too muddled to qualify as a top-shelf b-movie but it's a watchable affair and worth checking out for Forster fans.