A somewhat pale shadow of Dead Calm. Before going on a Mediterranean sailing trip to help their ailing marriage, Morgan (Hauer) and Kit Norvell (Allen) meet Gil Freeland (Roberts) at their Class of '72 college reunion. Gil, now a dentist, and wife Ronnie (Nielsen) invite themselves on board and proceed in the nasty, psychotic behaviour we just knew lay behind those sweet smiles. In the end, Hauer works out the murderous plot, and, clutching Roberts' dental bag, exclaims, 'These teeth were meant for us!' Heavy signposting, insistent Carl Davis score; not bad performances. FM
An all-too-rare opportunity to
see two titans of straight-to-tape gurning, grimacing, and hamming it up in
tandem: Rutger Hauer, who looks like on-set his trailer must have doubled as a
cake shop, and Eric Roberts, still wearing the permanently huffy expression of a
man whose little sister Julia could buy and sell him any time she wanted. For
anyone who's ever seen Phillip Noyce's trashy but entertaining 1989 sea-bound
thriller Dead Calm, Voyage is basically exactly the same film, only with Hauer
and Roberts in lieu of Sam O'Neill and Billy Zane (which actually doesn't sound
like such an unfair trade).
For the benefit of everybody else, the storyline centres around happily married couple Morgan and Catherine Norvell (Hauer and Karen Allen), who have recently decided to abandon their respective careers and sail off together around Europe. However, a few days before leaving the shore, the pair meet the delightful Gail and Ronnie Freeland (Roberts and Connie Nielson). The two couples bond, share a few laughs and, before you know it, Morgan and Catherine have invited their new best friends aboard. The rest is, of course, a master class in dark secrets, latent psychosis and as little exposition as possible before the ostensibly thrilling climax. Not so much derivative as carbon copied from its predecessor, Voyage offers nothing in the way of originality, but the direction--by a slumming John Mackenzie (director of the classic British gangster flick The Long Good Friday)--is surprisingly fluent. If nothing else, the sight of a chunky Hauer floating around the water in his T-shirt--presumably out of reluctance to remove it for the camera--is a thing of pure comic wonder. --Danny Leigh
Author: youridol from Toronto, ON
I love movies with small casts and isolated settings, with VOYAGE being the among the best of such. This is like Roman Polanski's KNIFE IN THE WATER, only this time we have great actors all around.
Hauer is his usual great subtle acting machine. His face seems to have a thousand muscles and he can say more with an expression than the boring interchangeable "stars" of today can in an entire career.
And Eric Roberts is the perfect opposition for Our Boy Rutger with an incredible heel performance. I'll never forget when he says to Hauer with sinister glee "I'll turn your head around backwards!"
Why aren't the exceptional Roberts and greatest living actor Hauer more popular? Because in order to be popular one has to be mediocre.