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Here is a movie which could easily be a very effective stage play. The script is terse and Sikking and Elizondo give outstanding performances. Watch this in one sitting as continuity is crucial to get the full effect of the story. The contemporary technology as presented was cutting edge at the time of production but is now, sadly, dated. The story stands firmly on its own two feet. If you need todays brand of trite closure, look elsewhere.
This is my favorite movie. On the other hand, most of the people I have shared it with find it boring and, to be fair, it is a bit slow and you have to pay attention to the movie.
From what I can remember, this is a real head trip.
Hector Elizondo at his best !
perfect film, if only there were a dvd release??
Film noir meets Freudian nightmare meets stupid meets waste of time meets could've been sleeping ... oh, I was.
Love to see this on DVD. I have it on tape.
I've been looking around at other people's reviews of this film (not just here, but on other movie websites).
Maybe it's just some crazy idea that's come into my head, but it seems to me that the point of the film, as revealed in the ending, is that Col. Jason is dead. He died in the crash, and Dr. Gottlieb is a sort of St. Peter figure, trying to acclimatize him to the afterlife.
I haven't seen anybody else even mention anything like such an interpretation, but to me it seems obvious.
Or perhaps I'm just drunk.
Like a number of other films Final Approach uses the flashback as a means of discovery and plot progression, but deviates in that it takes place exclusively in one room, and in the main character's mind. The plus side of this storytelling choice is that it creates a claustrophobic atmosphere that raises the anxiety level felt by Jason as he tries to make sense of everything. The acting, for the most part, sustains the atmosphere but unfortunately after the final ten minutes of revelation you find the previous two hours were little more than setup. Always waiting in ambush to reveal the final twist the film does nothing to provide meaning beyond "where am I?". Once Jason leaves the office we see that we haven't really learned what it all meant. Why was he the way he was? What was the deal with his dead wife? Did any of that have significance?
All we discover is the destination, and nothing about the consequences, which are more important.
A well written, surreal occult film that looks like a psychological thriller or intelligence community type film until the end. Clever and attention sustaining.