Movie Report: Frantic (1988)

Book coverThis is a 1988 film directed by Roman Polanski, filmed in France obvs because if he filmed in the United States he’d be arrested if he did. Harrison Ford stars as a doctor whose wife is murdered (sorry, wrong movie) disappears from their hotel room in Paris. She’d had trouble opening her suitcase, and when a call came in, she walked out while he was taking a shower. Did she leave willingly or was she taken? The search leads him to believe that it’s the latter. Then the doctor comes across a woman whose bag the wife mistakenly took from the airport. So it’s like 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag but in Paris, and ponderous because it’s directed by an auteur.

They discover that the woman whose bag the wife had taken was not smuggling drugs as she had thought but instead had a MacGuffin, and rival governments were after it. Once they get a hold of it, they exchange it for the wife, the government agents vying for the MacGuffin engage in a shootout, and all ends mostly well.

I don’t feel bad about giving a bit of a spoiler alert there because if you’re going to watch this film, you’re watching it because you’re a big fan of Harrison Ford even though some of his film choices are questionable and didn’t age well. Or you’re a fan of Roman Polanski. Or maybe just a fan of the Barenaked Ladies, who did their bit to keep this film’s cultural relevance in 1998.

But not high on my list of recommendations.

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