Desperate Hours (1990)

Random hostages don’t always work in the best way.

Director Michael Cimino’s thriller centers on a separated couple, Tim (Anthony Hopkins) and Nora (Mimi Rogers), who wind up housing and trying to trap escaped psychotic killer Michael Bosworth (Mickey Rourke). Until Bosworth’s accomplice (Kelly Lynch) shows up to take him to Mexico, he attempts to elude FBI agent Brenda Chandler (Lindsay Crouse). Meanwhile, Tim and Nora broach their marital troubles in the face of terror and desperation.

The film is your basic home invasion film. Director Cimino (The Deer Hunter) tries to put a whole new different meaning to this film, and try to make it something other than a home invasion movie, where basically all of is staying in the house and being treated poorly.

I never understood why Rourke felt the need why this one house break-in was so desperate and needed. It almost came to me as random, why would he just choose this one house to basically invade and torture?

The thing that got me going with this film was a lot of the way it was actually based around, and that was suspense. It actually has a lot of genuine moments where you are on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next to this family, and these criminals, who you really despise.

The writing isn’t so top-notch and at times is a bit cliched. I feel like the film could have been a lot more dramatic by adding a lot of flavor and freshness to its writing so it could have been a lot more effective. Also, that annoying, and almost at times comical music score just annoyed the crap out of me. It felt like I was watching a film in 1990 with the old 1922 score.

The thing that saves this film is that its performances from the two leads are actually very very good. Hopkins gives his usual bad-ass character, that keeps his strength through the whole film and never loses a sense of pride. The best here is Rourke who proves to be so unlikable, and just so hateful, that his charm at times almost makes you forget he’s a total dick head.

Consensus: Desperate Hours doesn’t have the best writing and features some plot holes, but is all about suspense, and delivers on that level as well as the performances from Rourke and Hopkins.


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