Far and Away (1992) Review

Terribly good review

Quick question

How do you make a movie with the biggest star in the world, a super charismatic and beautiful female lead and a great director in Ron Howard, and come up with what could be summed up in one word…….meh?

Ron Howard found a way.

Let’s start of with the good.

Far and Away is clearly an expensive and well produced movie. Before the time of digital sets, everything had to be painstakingly made by hand and the standards in this film are superb. It really is a beautiful looking film. Mikael Salomon did an an amazing job when it came to the look of the film and probably deserved an awards nod for it.

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Ireland looks beautiful and rustic, New York has an amazing urban grimy feel to it and the old west looks fresh and full of promise.

There is also a obvious chemistry between the two recently married stars. In the parts where the terrible script isn’t ruining the film they are a believable couple. The basic elements for a good film are here, it’s just a shame none these are expanded on. Cruise had grown into a good actor as of late, but at this point in his career he’s not quite there yet. He lacks the subtlety that he can produce now. Kidman on the other hand has always been excellent and is the standout performer here.

I like to compare it to the far superior Titanic. Two sets of charismatic leads in a lavish period film. But unlike Titanic the two main characters motivations can be summed up in a couple of sentences. Cruise wants some land to call his own after seeing his fathers taken away. Kidman wants to go to America to claim a piece of land for herself. That’s it. We don’t get any more development than that. It just makes the two main characters far to simple and quite frankly dull.

The best part of the movie is when they get to New York. The amazing set designs make up for the dullness of the script. It really is mind numbing at times. Things lighten up when Howard concentrates on the budding sexual chemistry between the Cruise and Kidman. There’s a nice scene whey are both getting ready for for bed, while also spying on each other through gaps in a screen. More of this kind of stuff was needed to get us to really feel that these characters are real. Instead they just feel like empty chracatures.

By the time we get to the race for land in Oklahoma the only thing keeping this Dreey film together are it’s stars. The script may be lazy and empty of character, but they are stlll giving it there all. Unfortunately it’s not enough to to save a wasted opportunity of a film.

Pros

It has Nicole Kidman in it

It has Nicole Kidman in it

Did we say it had Nicole Kidman in it?

It’s very beautiful and it’s production value is top notch.

Cons

Every single character is one dimensional

A waste of its charismatic leads

Terrible, terrible script

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