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Review Cliffhanger (1993): Die Hard on a mountain!

genre: action, adventure, thriller

When you watch Cliffhanger for the first time it's absolutely tense and thrilling. Once you know how events play out some of that tension is gone on multiple viewings. However what remains is the adrenaline inducing action. It's beautiful and exciting. On top of all this is Sly venturing into Willis territory. 

One year after a terrible accident involving Hal Tucker (Michael Rooker) and his girlfriend, Gabe Walker (Sylvester Stallone) returns to the Rocky Mountains. This accident had a significant impact on him. He left without a word or trace. Now he is back to ask his girl Jessie (Janine Turner) to come with him to start a new life. She is not that forthcoming but doesn't really get the chance to reconnect since a party of stranded people require help. Very much against his will Gabe goes to seek and rescue these people and safe to say it's when things don't go particularly well. This party consists of a bunch of criminals under leadership of the super evil Qualen (John Lithgow). Lithgow is excellent as the narcissistic and calculating mastermind. Although while his henchman are pretty effective and deadly they also can act real stupid sometimes. I mean why would you keep shooting your guns or use explosives knowing that avalanches can happen. They didn't plan on being this mountain range but were forced to since the fruits of their super daring heist are spread all over the mountains. I won't spoil it any further but I think you get the idea.

Of course the concept sounds familiar. But to have Die Hard play out in the mountains is pretty brilliant. Not only does Gabe have to deal with professional criminals he also has to defy the laws of physics, gravity and nature. And mother nature isn't particularly kind in this film.

Overall Cliffhanger is an action classic for sure and one of the best Sly has made. 

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