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The Sunchaser Review

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★★★★★

Remember that throwaway line in Get Shorty which establishes the kind of award-winningly dreadful pictures the Danny DeVito character makes? John Travolta opines that "his best part was the crippled gay guy that climbed Mount Whitney"... Well, The Sunchaser has its star play the part of a terminally ill half-Navajo teen gangster who climbs a mountain. And what's more, he kidnaps a materialistic doctor and teaches him spiritual virtues during a cross-country road movie-style trek - with a New Age time-out to explain how mystic twaddle is better for you than white man's medicine.Dr. Reynolds (Harrelson) is a Beverly Hills supersurgeon and Blue (Seda) a dying hoodlum, so naturally they progress from animosity to deep-seated friendship as Blue drags Reynolds through gangbanger hide-outs and biker bars towards a magic mountain where a Native American medicine man has told him there's a lake that will cure all ills.Since Heaven's Gate, Michael Cimino has managed to get a film together every three or four years, most of them as bad as that actually-quite-interesting bomb was first thought to be. This is a particularly trying specimen, with characters composed out of layered cardboard traipsing through unbelievable situations as if there was something profound and soaring around them.The Sunchaser is amazingly pompous throughout, and never more so than when it thinks it's being funny - as in a cameo by Anne Bancroft as a New Age earth mother with a Trekkie bumper sticker. There's even an overblown music score from Maurice Jarre, which alternates emotional strings with action bits that sound like a 50s B-grade Western, and Cimino somehow manages to make even Monument Valley - the inevitable destination of the quest - look unmagical. Colour this one dud.