Starring: Kathleen Turner, Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Running Time: 106 mins
Romancing The Stone is an American film about a writer who travels to Colombia to rescue her kidnapped sister, but soon finds herself on a dangerous adventure through the jungle with a rogue explorer.
A thoroughly enjoyable watch that embraces both the innocent fun factor of a classic adventure caper and the freedom that comes with an older target audience. Bolstered by likable performances from Kathleen Turner and especially Michael Douglas as well as great action throughout, Romancing The Stone is a lot of fun, and importantly for audiences of all ages.
I say that because there really aren’t many adventure movies out there with a wide appeal like Romancing The Stone. The Indiana Jones movies certainly fit the bill, but that’s about it for adventure movies which balance both the fun of exploration and some slightly harsher, grittier bits of drama.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Romancing The Stone isn’t some violent, hard-R action movie, but it’s not just another bit of fluff aimed at kids. The film’s lighter side works wonders in making it a fun, entertaining watch, while its darker elements go a long way to making it interesting, and thereby more fun.
A big part of striking that balance comes in the form of the two lead performances, with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner both making great use of their talents to make their characters far more entertaining than just one-dimensional adventure heroes.
Douglas is a battle-hardened rogue in the South American jungle, while Turner is an initially scared but deep-down brave and confident person who’s more than a match for Douglas. Together, they share adventure and romance in all the predictable ways you’d expect, but their chemistry and individual charisma makes them absolutely brilliant to watch throughout.
Again, as cheesy as some parts of the movie are, neither the romance nor the action is as simple or as fluffy as you might expect, with some moments of relative explicitness and great emotional drama, as well as some welcome violence that just brings the stakes of the whole affair up a little.
The story in itself isn’t a work of art, given the way it plays on the tropes of classic adventure movies, but that predictability and above all familiarity is what makes Romancing The Stone a rather warm and cosy watch, the kind that would get the whole family around the TV on a Sunday afternoon.
In short, I had a lot of fun with Romancing The Stone. A great adventure movie with a wide appeal, it’s full of great humour, good drama and two excellent lead performances, all of which come together to make it an admittedly predictable but delightfully familiar watch. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5 overall.