Drop Zone Review

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After his brother is killed transporting a prisoner, US Marshall Pete Nesbitt is determined to find them men responsible. He comes to suspect that they are involved in skydiving, so steels himself to learn the skills he needs to track them down and find them.


Ever get the feeling Hollywood is running out of ideas? Not only did they recycle the skydiving thrills of Point Break, but 1994 saw two parachute movies going head to head. The first to drop out of the sky - with Charlie Sheen's Terminal Velocity tumbling headlong soon after - boasts Snipes for its hunk-factor, Yancy Butler in the babe-stakes and a thumb in just about every formula pot.

John Badham is not a director respected for his innovative and daring approach to filmmaking. He is, however, highly proficient at churning out bog-standard genre flicks. There is nothing inept about this actioner, it just lacks any kind of distinction whatsoever. Opening on a jumbo, US Marshalls Snipes and his brother Malcolm-Jamal Warner have their escort, slimy computer hacker Michael Jeter, nabbed in a high altitude kidnapping disguised as a terrorist attack. Only Snipes knows different, and considering his bro' was killed in the scam, he's mightily peeved.

With not much in the way of excitement, Snipes infiltrates himself with a group of exhibition skydivers, led by Butler, and - much to his discomfort - jumps out of planes as he slowly edges closer to the bad guys, led by Busey, using Jeter to crack police computers for the names of undercover cops. Snipes adds nothing new to his typical beefcake and big grin turn, but Butler, at least, gives some grit to the sexpot requirements of skintight jump suits.

What this film lacks so badly is a sense of its own excessiveness. And as polished and realistic as the stunt stuff is, it's never thrilling or preposterous enough to count for much.