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Film Reviews, Festivale movie section, a reel life
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Festivale movie reviews, Autumn 1997

The Relic

The creature returns, and this time he has to deal with the chicks!

Chick movies be damned! This is your traditional creature film. You know the recipe, boy meets creature, creature eats some people, girl is captured by creature, boy destroys creature and gets girl.

Well, not in this film, because in The Relic, that creature has to deal with the superstitious big cop and the scientist in a little black dress. And you can bet in this Nineties creature film that Penelope Ann Miller is not sitting in a corner weeping silently until the big brave man comes along and saves her. Bloody good show too.

Still from the Relic (copyright Paramount Studios)

De coroner delivering decapitation humour

the Relic (copyright Paramount Studios) Penelope Ann Miller

Penelope Ann Miller as Margo

Here's a tip. If you see Gale Anne Hurd's name on a film (she's a producer, so you have to look hard), then you can be pretty sure that the actors are going to get messy. She soaked the cast in The Abyss, blew them up in Terminator 2, shook them up in Tremors and just recently coated them with fine grey dust in Dante's Peak. In The Relic she wets them down with sprinklers then we watch the wonderful Linda Hunt practically float away in subterranean coal tunnels.

Ah, me. This is a film to watch. It didn't scare me much, it didn't seem to move me much, but when the felony-arrogant character got his just desserts I was all for it. So I guess it did move me. I knew who was a good guy, and who was the bad guy. I wanted to spend hours in the company of the acidic coroner (Audra Lindley), and I would trust the detective (Tom Sizemore) to the end of the earth.

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Which means that the actors, many of them with long histories of developing believable characters, did a good job. The film was lovely to look at, the set is fun, which you would expect considering that the director, Peter Hyams spent his childhood haunting museums such as the one the film is set in.

Strong cast, the story carries you along at a good pace, definitely worth seeing.

  • Ali Kayn
  • see also Terry Frost's review Science Fiction, the interesting old stuff, feature by Terry Frost

  • Enter movie, TV show, or person
    Provided by Internet Movie Database.
    Just the facts:

    Title: The Relic (Polygram)
    Written by:
    Amy Holden Jones, John Raffo, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
    Based on: Novel by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child

    Directed by: Peter Hyams
    Produced by: Gary Levinsohn, Mark Gordon (Execs), Gale Anne Hurd, Sam Mercer
    Edited by: Steven Kemper
    Director of Photography: Peter Hyams

    The Players: Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, Linda Hunt, James Whitmore, Clayton Rohner, Audra Lindley
    For session times of current films, use the cinema listings on the Movie links page. For scheduled release dates, see the coming attractions section.
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