Saturday, May 21, 2011

The word "The" makes all the difference

While TCM has its Essentials on Saturday nights (this week's feature is the already-recommended Cat People, the Fox Movie Channel has been running double features at 8:00 PM, and then rerunning both movies around midnight. This week's first film is The Fury

If you're looking for Spencer Tracy or Sylvia Sidney, you're out of luck; this is a completely different film from Fury. Kirk Douglas stars as Peter Sandza, who works for a secret US government agency dealing with psychics. One day while on vacation, his son Robin is kidnapped, and after some investigation he discovers that it's because his son apparently has great psychic powers, and there are nefarious dark forces led by renegade (or is he in cahoots with the government) Ben Childress (John Cassavetes) who want to use Robin's powers for their own evil ends. What's a father to do? The psychic orgasms must have been mind-blowingThe obvious answer is to find another teenaged psychic, who will work together with Peter to find out what happened to Peter's son. This Peter finds in the form of Gillian (Amy Irving), and we're more or less on our way through what is certain to be a stereotypically dangerous journey, trying to find the son while staying out of danger.

The one big problem with The Fury is that there are are so many stereotypes in the thriller genre, especially by the late 1970s, which are difficult not to fall into. There's the conspiracy theory crap; the constantly staying one step ahead of the bad guys; and the constant never knowing whom one can trust. The Fury plays off all of these in spades, leading up to a finale that at least is different, if only because the screenwriters had the plot device of psychic powers to use. With all that, the fact that the movie deals with psychic powers makes it worth watching. Not only for that finale, but for scenes earlier when Gillian is learning to develop those powers.

Please note that, due to the violence, The Fury is not a movie for everybody. (That's putting it mildly.)

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