Picks and Pans Review: Out of Bounds
Eighteen-year-old Anthony Michael Hall, star of The Breakfast Club, possesses the most vacant eyes in Hollywood. And he's got a great open-mouthed, dumbfounded expression that has already become his trademark. If Out of Bounds weren't so misguided and misdirected, this thriller could have taken wonderful advantage of Hall's talents. He's cast as an Iowa farm boy who inadvertently gets caught up in drug dealing and double-dealing when he takes the wrong bag off the luggage carousel after arriving in Los Angeles. The premise of an adolescent North by Northwest fits Hall well; that vacant look of his is ideal for just about any fish-out-of-water scenario. But Out of Bounds misunderstands that expression; it's the look of a suburban teenager who has already seen too much, not too little of the world. Thematically it would have been more novel to reverse the situation in Tony Kayden's script—envision Hall as a seen-it-all city slicker who stumbles upon unlikely corruption in the cornfields. Although director Richard Tuggle traverses the back streets and nightclubs of Los Angeles, he shows no talent for innovation in using his locations. Neither does he have the playfulness or sense of dislocation that Brian De Palma might have brought to the material. Although Tuggle wrote and directed Tightrope, one of Clint Eastwood's best and most perverse efforts, he settles for violent surprises and mundane tableaus this time. How often do we have to see punkers strutting down the sidewalk or cops giving chase to the wrong man? Contrived and condescending, Out of Bounds degenerates into what is primarily a cautionary tale about checking your luggage tags at the airport. (R)
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