Director Robert Zemeckis had only made one feature film before this 1984 action adventure, and his next film would be one that defined his career; Back To The Future was an instant hit, and in my opinion still stand as the director’s best work.
Romancing the Stone might be less well thought of because the woeful sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, was a patchy and flat follow up that had none of the spark of the first film. Given that it was made just one year after Romancing the Stone it’s hardly surprising it’s a mess.
It’s been a good 10 years since I last saw this film, sadly it’s only available in a double pack with The Jewel of the Nile. I like to think of this release as a special edition with a bonus coaster.
Romancing The Stone is a perfect addition to the Sunday Afternoon Movie Club, the simple premise of a writer traveling to Colombia, enlisting the help of soldier of fortune Jack Colton, to free her kidnapped sister.
Douglas retains a old school Hollywood charm and Jack Colton is a character unlike any the actor has played before or since. Elements of Colton were plain to see in The Ghost and The Darkness, but that sadly failed to leave an impact. His recent turn in Haywire saw Douglas on auto pilot (in a bloody fun movie though) and the less said about Wall Street 2 the better.
However with outstanding performances in The Game, Falling Down and Wonder Boys, Douglas is capable of so much more than the durge he’s been making lately.
Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas (script permitting) have a great on screen chemistry, they bounce off each other with equal measures of attraction and hatred. This chemistry was absent from the sequel but back in spades for Danny Devito’s black comedy The War of the Roses.
Whilst it may appear as though I am attacking the sequel unfairly, it’s just that the first film was a solid enjoyable 80s action adventure. The Jewel of the Nile was a lazy follow up and Robert Zemeckis’s directing is sorely missed.
The best thing about the sequel was the classic Billy Ocean track ‘When The Going Gets Tough”, the video features Devito, Turner and Douglas on backing vocals and is more enjoyable than the thrown together sequel.
Romancing The Stone was made for Sunday Afternoon’s, it doesn’t ask anything more of you than to have fun and get swept up in the adventure.
Until next week