Falling Fire (1997)
AKA: The Cusp
Directed By: Daniel D'Or
Starring: Michael Paré and Heidi von Palleske
Unfortunately, Falling Fire is one of the biggest duds we've seen in a long time.
This 1998 Roger Corman New Horizons release is an unfocused, boring mish-mash. It is clearly a cash-in on the then-current rash of sci-fi hits such as Armageddon (1998), Deep Impact (1998), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Starship Troopers (1997) Virtuosity (1995), Event Horizon (1997), Deep Rising (1998) and it even manages to rip-off the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). It is especially similar to the more well-known Supernova (2000-filmed in 1998).
Set in space, the plot seems to be some twaddle about a ragtag team of explorers supposedly trying to stop a huge meteor from hitting earth. Meanwhile Captain Daryl Boden (Paré) is having family troubles back at home. His wife (Von Palleske) even gets into some hot water herself when she gets shot in the foot by the main baddie. Will they save earth from impending destruction? Will Paré emote more than Jeff Fahey or a piece of wood? (Don't) find out tonight!
Also trying to horn in on the "V.R. craze" of the mid-1990s, any episode of the kids TV show V.R. Troopers (1994-1996) is better than this dreck. The most positive aspects of the movie that we can name are the special effects which were probably decent for the budget and year it was made. Sadly though, the finished product is tedious with characters talking about scientific gobbledygook instead of making sense or even having action scenes.
We believe we have come up with a reason why 'Fire is so disjointed and nonsensical and thus not engaging to the viewer: It seems the movie was longer at one point and was haphazardly edited down to a manageable length. The Canadian version under the odd title "The Cusp" has scenes not in the American release.
We all love Paré and even he is slumming this time around. It seems he is sleepwalking and this is not his best moment. He brings no energy, but that is quite apropos as the whole production has no life. Paré was just along for the slow space ride. We also suspect that the American title was changed to Falling Fire to cash-in on Paré's most well-known work Streets Of Fire (1984).
Apparently the chemistry of Paré and Heidi von Palleske was so great after their double whammy of Strip Search (1997) and 2013: The Deadly Wake (1997) it was decided that they should appear again together in this flick. They should have quit while they were ahead.
This has a direct-to-cable feel and is an example of a movie that has a short running time but feels much longer. The effects make the asteroid in question look like a gigantic piece of burnt toast and it occurred to us that the entire movie is like one big piece of burnt toast.
Douse out this "Fire" tonight!
Comeuppance review by Brett and Ty