Scripter Jeb Stuart (Die Hard) made his directorial debut with this thriller about an FBI agent in pursuit of a serial killer. Politically ambitious Amarillo police chief Jack McGinnis (William Fichtner) uses a local murder to gain votes in his campaign, a setback for Sheriff Buck Olmstead (R. Lee Ermey), up for reelection. The situation looks better for Olmstead after FBI agent Frank LaCrosse (Dennis Quaid) arrives to track the killer. LaCrosse has a personal agenda: he's convinced this killer is the man who kidnapped his son. Meanwhile, ex-medical student Lane Dixon (Jared Leto), hitchhiking across New Mexico, gets a lift from friendly Bob Goodall (Danny Glover), a former rail worker who later rescues Dixon from menacing miners in a bar. Red herrings throughout conceal the true identity of the killer. Some scenes were filmed at an altitude of 10,000 feet in Red Cliff, Colorado. Working titles: Going West in America, Going West. Shown at the 1997 Denver Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for Switchback
Quaid is a one-note sadsack here and no natural action hero.
A superb, underrated drama
High-class thriller, with a superb turn by Quaid
A well-done suspense-thriller...Has modest aspirations, but meets them admirably.
The striking American West setting enlivens this efficient, rote thriller.
Switchback plays as entertaining, if not quite classic, dramatic fare.
Audience Reviews for Switchback
There are many things said in the world that really ought to have been said by somebody else. Meaning is twisted when I discover from whose mouth a particular phrase was hatched, for better or worse. Some words are so alive and wise, almost a separate entity now that they have been spoken or written. The person automatically becomes different, either qualifying for an upgrade or downgrade in intelligent perception. And either these words and its sayer are frolicking in harmony with each other, or they diametrically oppose and form a paradox of meaning. Basically, a 'what the hell' person. "You just don't know enough about these people to assume their actions and words do not align with their selves." Horsefeathers. What kind of logic is that anyway? What part of "I just know, okay?" do you not understand? ...I'm talking to a quoted phrase. Yeah, it's late. But one thing remains the same: some people do not deserve the words they say. Like Shakespeare. When I found out that "You offend your lungs for speaking so loud" was originally said by that dude over 400 years ago, I was devastated. My 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Seanor, owned that verse up until "Mr. History Book" freakin' waltzed right onto the scene, dispensing 'facts' like a drug dealer on a schoolyard and blowing kiddies' minds with The Truth. Felt like my lungs were offended via punching. Well, not really. I just wanted to include a lung-punching in this bloodless entry for some reason. *gash*
But I have a solution to these apparent contradictions. The who's and the what's need to take opposing sides, like a game of Red Rover, and I should decide who gets to do and say what with neat little lines drawn connecting it all. Completely, utterly reasonable. It will make perfect sense when connected. A sublime, heavenly, 100 per cent non-perishable kind of perfect sense. "Well 'perfect sense' is highly subjective, and is something hardly perceivable by individuals greatly lacking in it." What is this, a consensus? Stupid double-quoted counterpoints. But since I'm only part-jerk, I shall suffer minor internal conflict and illustrate for you examples of what anybody considers 'perfect sense' (an original phrase by me), and ye all shall understand more clearly when I can organize these concepts, shuffle history and collective personality up a bit, and re-deal a new more sensible existence. Right, so..."perfect sense":
writing while half asleep (now)
writing while full asleep (soon)
this entry (by association)
Perfection. Right there, baby. Okay, so...click it. Come on, click! I know you smell what I smell, too. A good kinda smell, one that twirls your nose hairs in loops and your mind in a bowtie when you sniff it. And it's not that dog fart. It's a smell of ancient time...and of fresh margarita! Come on in, it's my 20,000th post party! And it smells!
Unfairly maligned and under appreciated, Swtichback is a very good suspense thriller, and an especially fine entry into the serial killer genre. The film is bolstered by a strong ensemble cast, headlined by Danny Glover, Dennis Quaid, and the underrated R. Lee Ermy. The film itself is smartly written (save for some of the last act), and does an excellent job of creating atmosphere and a sustained sense of tension.
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