Picks and Pans Review: The Disappearance
Winter in Montreal. One cold gray day follows another. A professional hit man, played by Donald Sutherland, returns home to his wife (Francine Racette), for whom he has lost enthusiasm. When she disappears, however, he suddenly finds himself obsessed with tracking her down. This film is so relentlessly bleak and Sutherland so detached that it is impossible to care about his mission. More's the pity, because British director Stuart (Test of Violence) Cooper has assembled an excellent supporting cast. Racette, who happens to be Sutherland's offscreen lady, is just right as the sultry cipher who vanishes. Christopher Plummer and John Hurt show up all too briefly but still manage to brighten the proceedings. Unfortunately, Cooper's studied direction telegraphs what few plot twists there are. The success of Body Heat may signal the return of the film noir, but there isn't much of a call for a film gris. (R)
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