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Terminal Velocity Review

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When Ditch Brodie, a lose cannon with a parachute, sees his pupil plummet to her death, he begins to think his luck is out. But no, he is lucky enough to see Murrow come back to life and involve him in an operation involving stolen Russian bullion, a jumbo jet and a bunch of ugly psychos with dubious accents.

★★★★

You'll be hard pressed to find a movie more over-the-top or as far-fetched as this sky-diving trip. Suspend disbelief, though, and with a range of ex-KGB nutters, gorgeous duplicitous spies, dead people refusing to stay dead, wisecracks, punch-ups, gold bullion, Charlie Sheen's stubble and a rose-red Cadillac plummeting from 30,000 feet on the menu, boredom is not an option.

Ditch Brodie (Sheen, almost playing himself as a loose cannon sky-diver supremo) runs into a major spot of bother when his latest pupil, curvaceous Chris Morrow (Kinski), drops out of his plane and makes an untidy mess on terra firma. Facing manslaughter charges and with the authorities about to revoke his parachuting licence, life begins to stink. But before Ditch can quip his way out of trouble, Morrow is back from the grave and embroiling him in a high-stakes spy operation involving stolen Russian bullion, a jumbo jet and a bunch of ugly psychos with dubious accents who want to take a rather large chunk out of him.

The stunt work is jaw-droppingly exaggerated, exciting on a whole different level to the mundane chute opus Drop Zone, and the plot has some corking twists up its sleeve to keep matters bumping along at a merry old pace. However, what makes this the sheerly magnificent, grin inducing, lowbrow popcorn fest it is, is Sheen's delightful wiseguy attitude. As Kinski pouts appealingly, playing the tragic Ruskie spy dead straight, Sheen breezes through with a splendid collection of super-quips, taking this nonsense about as seriously as anyone in the stalls should be doing. And by the toweringly ludicrous finale, there is no doubt that as criminally unsophisticated as this is, it succeeds as pure, unadulterated Friday night entertainment. A state-of-the-art hoot.

Sheen makes this into the magnificent, grin inducing, lowbrow popcorn fest it is. A state-of-the-art hoot.