Blown Away Review

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An ex-bomb disposal expert is called back for one last job as a recent explosion is linked to an old acquaintance of his.


Having reminded everyone what a great actor he can be in Fearless, Jeff Bridges doubtless felt he was entitled to take a role which allows him to zoom about on a motorbike and do he-man hero things. And having picked up his long-overdue Oscar for The Fugitive, Tommy Lee Jones must equally feel a maniacal villain role with a bizarre accent underlines his versatility. Also, the business of a Boston bomb disposal squad seems a dead cert for an edge-of-the-seat suspense/action movie as brave men ponder which wires to snip and extras get as far away as possible to avoid the bang. The problem is that Blown Away is utter rubbish. In a silly prologue Ryan Gaerity (Jones), a mad bomber too cracked to be allowed into the IRA, escapes from a gloomy prison in Northern Ireland, nursing a hefty grudge against Liam (Bridges), a former apprentice mad bomber whom he blames for the curtailment of his terrorist career. Liam, who has changed his name to Jimmy and turned gamekeeper by defusing bombs, is on the point of retiring to settle down with Suzy Amis when Ryan turns up to conduct a vendetta against his co-workers and stages murderous explosions in picturesque Boston locations. As in Patriot Games, the Northern Ireland situation, imperfectly understood by Hollywood, makes an awkward springboard for a thriller, encouraging a few too many Oirish knees-ups and truly terrible accents (Lloyd Bridges as the crusty father figure is the worst offender). This has its big explosions, but somehow muffs the infallible business of bomb-defusing, with the partial exception of a silly scene in which Forest Whitaker realises he has a motion-sensitive bomb in his stereo headphones. It’s a ridiculous script and normally excellent performers can do nothing with it. In fact, you’re less likely to be Blown Away than Browned Off.

Blown Away? You won't be.