Picks and Pans Review: Revolution

updated 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Suggested New Year's resolution for Hollywood producers: Find a good movie for Al Pacino. The fine actor who gave us electrifying performances in the two Godfather movies as well as Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon has been on a losing streak for nearly a decade. Bobby Deerfield, And Justice for All, Cruising, Author! Author!, Scarface—and now this abomination. What made Pacino choose this incoherent treatise on the war that won America its freedom from Britain? Perhaps on paper Robert (The River) Dillon's screenplay hinted at an intriguing idea. The film would look at the revolution through the eyes of a New York fur trapper (Pacino) and his young son. Conscripted into service, the two fight a battle they never wanted and end up maligned by their own country. As directed by Hugh (Greystoke) Hudson, Revolution is a mess. Nothing seems authentic, especially Pacino's Scottish accent, which is worse than the Charo number he tried as a Cuban hood in Scarface. And try to get your bearings as the film jumps from Valley Forge to Philadelphia with absurd abandon. Nastassja Kinski keeps popping up as a sort of early USO girl, aging nary a minute as the years fly by. Poor Donald Sutherland is saddled with the role of a redcoat officer whose main occupation seems to be procuring young drummer boys for himself and his pederast pals. When Pacino's son falls victim to one of Sutherland's sadistic foot-beating tortures, we watch Pacino and a group of friendly Indians cauterize the wounds with nauseating explicitness. This is usually the point where the walkouts start. You are hereby advised not to walk in. Revolution was wisely withheld from view until the end of the year, making it too late for PEOPLE'S annual list of the year's 10 worst movies. But let's not allow deadlines to stand in our way: Revolution is the worst movie of 1985. (PG)

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