It’s a disservice to the industry I love that I’ve yet to see more than two Brian de Palma films. As far as my viewing of his movies goes, I’m nearly convinced he’s a master of film. He blew me away with Mission: Impossible and my interest in his other filmography rapidly grows as the days wane on. The adrenalin pumping thrills contained within Blow Out are certainly enough to rattle even the most hardened fans of the genre.
Travolta stars as curious sound man turned savagely disturbed Jack Terry as he begins to uncover an accident turned murder of the would-be President of the United States. Joining Terry is the reluctant Sally (Nancy Allen), a hooker with a stereotypically big heart of gold. They’re pursued by the villainous and maniacal Burke (John Lithgow).
Politically fused thrillers are regularly timeless given their historical links, and Blow Out is no exception to that rule. De Palma’s script has some imaginative twists and turns littered throughout, let down somewhat by the sudden appearance of Lithgow. He gives a great performance, one that should’ve been built up in a tighter fashion, and a lengthier fashion at that. Lithgow at first wasn’t someone I’d thought of as a villain, but between this and The Accountant, he’s proved himself as a serviceably crafty and devilish antagonist.
De Palma’s direction is a real work of genius. Not quite reaching the eclectic adrenalin of Misson: Impossible, but Blow Out offers up a great selection of high-octane thrills and satisfactory leading performances. His style and frequently differing camera angles make Blow Out a real treat for the eyes. There are a number of great scenes throughout this movie, and most, if not all, rely on the brilliance of De Palma’s direction.
A real treat for fans of thrilling cinema, especially when it comes from one of the best working minds in cinema. Travolta appears in one of his finest roles, and teaming him with De Palma is a recipe for success. Full of action, tension, drama and thrills; Blow Out is a tightly written piece of cinema that will appease everyone it is shown to.