Point of No Return

Gabriel Byrne

Directed by John Badham
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
March 19, 1993

Luc Besson's 1990 French thriller La Femme Nikita, starring Anne Parillaud as the ultimate femme fatale, was wildly sexy, stylish and implausible. John Badham's Point of No Return, the unnecessary American remake starring Bridget Fonda, is merely implausible. As for wild, forget it. Playing Nikita, a junkie transformed from sociopath to assassin by a government agent, Bob (Tcheky Karyo), and from guttersnipe to lady by Bob's colleague Amande (the incomparable Jeanne Moreau), Parillaud managed to take on a dozen thugs while staying rock steady atop her sky-high heels. Playing Maggie, the cornfed Fonda has to kick off her heels on her first job, when she's asked to make a hit at a chic restaurant. Amande would be appalled.

There's no denying Fonda's apple-pie appeal — it shines through even in the early scenes, when she's supposed to be strung out. But acrobatic wholesomeness is hardly an acceptable substitute for Parillaud's hot-babe allure. This time Anne Bancroft does the glam make-over (she's no Moreau); Fonda emerges — mon Dieu! — like a tomboy in her big sister's wardrobe. Director Badham (Bird on a Wire) shows little flair for eroticism and, more surprisingly, flubs the action. Gabriel Byrne, looking glum as Bob, and Dermot Mulroney, looking dopey as Maggie's boyfriend, J.P., seem stranded. Only Harvey Keitel, as a sadist called the Cleaner, is truly chilling. It's not that Robert Getchell's script is any less crackbrained than Besson's. This kind of kink just works better with a French accent.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »