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With an absurd tangle of time jumps, over-the-top characters, a preposterous plot, and terrifically flashy cinematography, my opinion throughout kept ricocheting between whether this was a so-bad-it's-good nanar ripe to riff or simply a genuinely propulsive crime thriller—either way, it's utterly entertaining.
Early Denzel Washington for sure gotta early 90’s vibe . I remember renting this at the video store as a teen . I liked then and it still holds up decent. Ice Tea once again leader of a gang or underground resistance. Often looked over and forgotten about movie. Lithgow is worth watch alone . But pretty good for what it is .
It's full of holes and crap.
Good performances by several cast members adds to an interesting plot. There's a few holes in it which wouldn't pass must er nowadays, but it's still an interesting movie
Good movie. The story is a little routine and cliched, and some of it is certainly plausible, but there's no denying it's a thrilling, stylish and well-made film with solid action and great performances from Washington and Lithgow.
Falls under the category: "What were they thinking?"
Five stars hands down! Terrific performance by a young Denzel Washington!
Enthralling for the first half, delightful bad comedy for the second half. Denzel was absolutely amazing even as a thick ham, but it stopped making any sense when Lithgow got loose. Also, the opening credits were horrible.
Aside from the great performance by John Lithgow, this is pretty pedestrian thriller.
Teaming up visual artist Russell Mulcahy with star Denzel Washington, Ricochet sounded like it had promise.
Released in 1991, Ricochet comes from the same year that director Russell Mulcahy directed the single worst film of all time. By comparison, Ricochet is a masterpiece. But standing alone, it is a rather generic feature. Ricochet is largely just another conventional crime story, and one which is reminiscent of many films that Denzel Washington has appeared in over the course of his career. Interestingly enough, it borrows generic elements of the crime genre and combines it into a story where Denzel Washington is both a police officer and a lawyer which means that it seems to maintain the same elements as his later films Philadelphia and Fallen. The tale is largely another revenge story about a game of manipulation between a police officer and a criminal. In all honesty, it does try to be a bit more because it moves at a slower pace which allows the tension to build up while the tale progresses. The issue is that it ends up progressing nowhere. Even with a plot which has the best intentions about a cat and mouse conspiracy, the investigation in the narrative really goes nowhere. It doesn't make an effort to get into the mind of its protagonist as a means of conveying the harsh nature of his situation, and the central antagonist gets so little screen time that there is no sense of balance. The majority of the film is composed of stylish shots of Denzel Washington expressing his confusion and tension. When the narrative gets to the point that the plot explores a conspiracy, the story gets jumbled, repetitive and runs out of things to do. Instead, it just pauses there and finally speeds up the process as it progresses towards a generic conclusion which is all but unsatisfying. Even if the screenplay doesn't handle its premise the best way, it at least tried to do something more with it which just makes it less satisfying when it falls flat. To put it blankly, the screenplay in Ricochet has a basic story and a script with minimal originality as it includes the line "I killed his life", and it is paced slowly for the majority of the film until the final 25 minutes where it speeds up and runs past its plot so fast that the viewer slows down behinds it and stops caring. Viewers are likely to find that Ricochet just fades into their memory as simply another basic Denzel Washington crime vehicle along the lines of Out of Time or The Bone Collector, though it is superior to both of them.
Russell Mulcahy's role as director is certainly of benefit to the film. While the story follows a conventional path, Russell Mulcahy manages to give some life to the film in terms of how it looks and the general feel of it all. He captures a good sense of tension for the film by using an intense musical score in moderation and ensuring that the sound effects are edited and mixed into the audio plane well, but more importantly he makes everything look appropriately tense. With the limited colour palette of the film which borderlines on sepia, the cinematography in the film always takes widescreen shots which capture the mood of the scenes, the life of the scenery and the role that the characters play in the story. He gives the film a dark sense of visual grit but ensures that everything is visually comprehensive, even in its more dimly lit sequences. He brings some life to the dull material of the screenplay, it's just a problem that he couldn't do anything to change that.
And the cast of Ricochet do an effective job.
Denzel Washington's lead performance is the greatest quality of Ricochet. From one of the earlier leading performances of his career, Denzel Washington leads Ricochet with more than enough intense charisma to characterize Nicholas Style as a likable character. While the premise is conventional, the character is an archetype and many of the dynamics seem rather farfetched, Denzel Washington wades through all that and delivers a performance which is sufficiently intense and charismatic. He stands strong in the role of an investigator because as he went on to prove many times in his career, it is a part he can easily step into the role of. Even though there is nothing special about his role, his genuine sense of tense grip over the character and a fearless ability to approach the material with line delivery which grasps every word in the mood of the scene appropriately. Denzel Washington once again shows that he has a fine strength for playing an archetype with energetic tension, and so he succeeds at creating the hero that the story needs.
John Lithgow's screen time is unfortunately minimal, but his small amount of time on screen shows him doing some of what he does best in the sense that he makes a strong villain. While he contains his emotions, he channels them all into his loud voice and his facial expressions which always fit the tense mood of the scene. He is really underused in the film because his qualities as an actor have proven valuable in multiple villainous performances, and so the fact that Ricochet just fails to make use of that is very unsatisfying. But still, John Lithgow makes himself a welcome cast member during his time on screen through
Ice-T also makes a decent supporting figure as Nicholas Styles' gangster friend simply because he delivers the basic nature of his lines with the appropriate tone of voice on a consistent basis. His role is small and his character is mainly just a gimmick instead of a key asset to the story, but he takes it on well.
So Ricochet benefits from the tense leading performance of Denzel Washington and the stylish directorial work from Russell Mulcahy, but as atmospheric as the film is, it is not enough to push it beyond its formulaic screenplay and poor pacing.