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The end of the Cold War and the toppling of the Berlin Wall made this
film outdated almost before it was released. Nevertheless, it remains
one of the best conspiracy mystery/thrillers ever made. The plot is
amazingly intricate, but by the finish everything is tied up neatly,
with no loose ends, a rarity for this type of story.
Gene Hackman is at his no-nonsense best as Johnny Gallagher, a career
military man caught up in a complex assassination scheme. As the events
unfold, he becomes more and more personally involved, which serves to
ratchet up the tension for the audience. His relationships with his
ex-wife Eileen (Joanna Cassidy) and the 'package' of the title, a
prisoner that Johnny is assigned to escort into the U.S. from Berlin
(played by Tommy Lee Jones in top form), are what really elevate "The
Package" into the first rank of suspense dramas. The scenes featuring
Hackman and Jones together are wonderful examples of understatement, as
the larger political conflict becomes a personal one. Dennis Franz
(NYPD Blue) turns up in a great supporting role.
"The Package" maintains an entertaining balance between action movie
excitement and character-driven drama. The political background may be
out of date, but the fine acting and writing deliver a story that is
EDIT by author, 08.30.2006 Note: I saw this film during its original
theatrical run. Events at that time (late 80's) moved so rapidly, the
political situation had changed significantly between the start of
production and its release. It was meant to be occurring in the
present, not designed as a period piece. That is what I mean by
outdated, which in no way detracted from the film's quality, or my
enjoyment of it.
Tags for The Package Full Movie
, Joanna Cassidy
, John Heard
, Tommy Lee Jones
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