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DVD Review

DVD cover

Bird on a Wire (1990)
(2017 Reissue)


Starring: Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, David Carradine and Bill Duke
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 27 March 2017

Hiding under the FBI Witness Protection Program, Rick Jarmin gets nervous when old flame Marianne Graves recognises him. But before he can assume a new identity, the man he put in jail is released and comes to pay his respects. Rick and Marianne find themselves thrown together on an exhilarating cross-country scramble, barely evading the gangsters, police and an amorous veterinarian. Their whirlwind travels eventually lead to an unforgettable climax in an elaborate zoo exhibit...

Bird on a Wire is an interesting bit of mindless nonsense. The premise is simple. Mel Gibson plays Rick Jarmin, a man who has been on the FBI Witness Protection Program after helping to put away drug trafficker Eugene Sorenson (David Carradine). Sorenson has just been released from jail and has a mole at the FBI who has been waiting for Graves to make contact so that he can pass on his current location to Sorenson.

When Marianne Graves (Goldie Hawn), an old flame of Jarmin's is in town for work, she spots Jarmin and instantly recognises him. Jarmin manages to throw her off the scent, but scared that his cover has been blown, he makes a call to the FBI. This information is quickly passed onto Sorenson who turns up at Jarmin's place of work determined to kill him.

When Graves returns, just as Sorenson is about to kill Jarmin, Graves and Jarmin go on the run. Their destination is Jarmin's retired FBI handler - the only person he can trust with his life.

Hawn is ten years Gibson's senior, which is interesting considering most movies of the time, and still to this day, would normally involve an older male actor paired with a much younger actress. The onscreen chemistry between the two is believable and you never question that the two were once romantically involved.

While there's not much meat to the story, it is what it is. A slice of rather silly fun. Despite its age it's managed to weather the test of time quite well. While it's not exactly Shakespeare, neither is it a complete turkey. If you remember if fondly from its original release you might be pleasantly surprised to discover that it's still an enjoyable romp.

Extras include text based Production Notes and Cast & Filmmakers. We also get the Theatrical Trailer (2 min, 34 sec).


Nick Smithson

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