The Peacemaker (1997)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 5/29/18
Director: Mimi Leder
Cast: George Clooney, Nicole Kidman

A nuclear scientist (Nicole Kidman) and a US Army Colonel (George Clooney) team up to track down a shipment of stolen Russian nuclear warheads before they reach potential buyers in Iran. It's a tense political action thriller that could only have existed in a pre-9/11 world. It's pretty incredible to reflect on how much that event changed Hollywood and the way we watch movies. Nicole Kidman is stunning and drop-dead gorgeous, and doesn't put up with any masculine macho bullshit. What's impressive to me is that she's initially introduced as your typical cute and clumsy, dingbat scientist babe, and the film deftly turns her into a considerable driving force when she gets put in charge of the recovery operation. I appreciate director Mimi Leder for seeing that through and breaking the mould. George Clooney's character is a toxic alpha male asshole, whose smarmy cockiness is a bit tough to stomach. Clooney excels at these kinds of roles, and it's hardly a stretch for him at all. Thankfully, there's not any romantic tension between Clooney and Kidman, and Kidman's character is never compromised (although there's a hint of mutual interest right at the end). It's a good looking and well-made film, and the action scenes are fast and fun to watch. The film's biggest riddle strains credibility and feels overly contrived, but is interesting nonetheless. It doesn't leave a lasting impression, but it's not a bad way to pass a couple of hours.