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December 13, 1994 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-12-13

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 13, 1994 - 11

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So "Drop Zone" may not win any Oscars. Who cares? Wesley Snipes is still really hot.
'Drop Zone' fails into the void

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By JOSHUA RICH
Early in "Drop Zone," Pete Nessip (Wesley Snipes)
and his brother, Terry, played by "Cosby Show" alum-
nus, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, take federal prisoner Earl
Leedy (Michael Jeter) on a 747 airplane. They are
escorting this computer geek to a maximum security
prison where he
will testify
against his drug-
dealing cocon-
Drop Zone spirators. But
Directed by the plane is hi-
John Badham; jacked in midair
by Ty Moncrief
Wesley Snipes (Gary Busey)
and Gary Busey and his band of
rogue skydivers
who moonlight
as drug dealers and thieves. They kill 14 people, blow
a hole in the side of the aircraft and dive 38 thousand
feet in order for Leedy to escape. Amidst all this
confusion Terry is shot twice and sucked out of the
gaping hole in the side of the plane.
OK. The makers of this movie have all the right to
maim and murder innocent travelers on board this plane.
But they have no right to humiliate and kill Malcolm-
Jamal's character. When a film stoops this low, you know
it is desperate for some thrills. After all, you just don't
mess with the Cosby kids!
That is basically the way Pete, a renegade U.S. mar-
hal - our hero - sees it.
For the rest of this mindless action movie, Pete tracks
Moncrief's gang from one skydiving show, one murder
and one burglary to the next - all in order to avenge the
death of his little brother. Along the way he is joined by
Jessie Crossman (Yancy Butler), the country's wildest
female skydiver, who also holds a grudge against Moncrief
for killing her boyfriend. These forces battle it out while
jumping from airplanes, skyscrapers and out of windows.
All of this as they race to a Fourth of July skydiving
exhibition in Washington, D.C. where Moncrief plans to
Creak into a government building and steal the names of
undercover cops.

So are the bad guys nabbed in the end of this totally
contrived movie? Well, what do you think?
For those unfortunate movie-goers who had the oppor-
tunity to see "Terminal Velocity" earlier this year, this
film will come as nothing new. John Badham ("War
Games"), usually respected for directing diverse and
interesting motion pictures, has made an action-packed,
thrilling, yet completely unoriginal film. "Drop Zone"
combines all the standard shoot-em-up, cliche, mindless
action movie motifs making it a true feast for the senses
and drought for the mind. Like in "Terminal Velocity,"
this film capitalizes on the new-found skydiving craze
(see also: "Point Break"), providing its audience with
outstanding aerial cinematography and unique action se-
quences.
But if the movie's simple and boring premise doesn't
immediately give the viewer a major case of deja vu,
then the acting and characterization of the film's bad
guys will. Busey's career has certainly deteriorated
since his Academy Award nomination for "The Buddy
Holly Story" (1978). He poorly performs a verbatim
imitation of his "Lethal Weapon" persona; he is a
sadistic criminal who enjoys torturing and killing inno-
cent people. And the supporting cast of nameless vil-
lains keeps all interest and focus of the film on the good
guys - how boring.
Saving "Drop Zone," however, is former "Evening
Shade" costar, Jeter, who cleverly portrays the irritating
Leedy as a pitiable, yet dangerous crook (much like his
role as a confused homosexual homeless man in "The
Fisher King").
And then there is Wesley. Once again, Snipes proves
that he is the top action hero in all Hollywood. He hits
harder than Van Damme, has more charisma and charm
than Schwarzenegger, and is more fun to watch than
Seagal. Moreover, he is a much better actor than all
three. So while Snipes is in another weak action flick,
he nevertheless makes the show interesting and always
keeps his audience rooting for him. In the end "Drop
Zone" may be entirely commonplace, but Wesley is
cool.
DROP ZONE is now pjaying at Briarwood andShow-
case.

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STOMP, a team of two women and six men, will shake and rock your mind with an explosion of bin smashing, fire
dancing with eight Zippo lighters, and boot stomping.
This eight-member troupe from Britain creates a wild and imaginative rhythm-percussion spectacular that involves
common household items such as trash cans, rubber gloves, brooms and buckets.
The performance starts with brooms sweeping, and among the softer touches are thumb-clicking, and boxes of
matches rattling, creating a cacophony of vocal chords, coughing and wheezing.
With a flair entirely of their own, STOMP has sold out audiences in New York and London and were featured in a
1993 Coca Cola commercial besides profiling on Nickelodeon, David Letterman and Good Morning America.
STOMP revolutionizes mundane household tasks, such as removing stains from a carpet, into a combination of
hyponotic rhythms and pure stage magic.
This invigorating 90 minutes of innovation will no doubt leave you rattling your keys and tapping along with any

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