(director: Roger Spottiswoode; screenwriters: Michael Burton/Dan Petrie/story by Harv Zimmel; cinematographer: Michael Chapman; editors: Garth Craven/George Bowers; music: John Scott; cast: Sidney Poitier (Warren Stantin), Tom Berenger (Jonathan Knox), Kirstie Alley (Sarah), Clancy Brown (Steve), Richard Masur (Norman), Andrew Robinson (Harvey), Kevin Scannell (Ben), Frederick Coffin (Ralph); Runtime: 115; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Ron Silverman/Daniel Petrie; Touchstone Pictures; 1988)

Satisfactory but forgettable manhunt thriller.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The 63-year-old Sidney Poitier, after away from movies for ten-years, makes his long-awaited return in this satisfactory but forgettable manhunt thriller, as an urban veteran FBI agent stationed in San Francisco. Roger Spottiswoode (“Midnight Sun”/”48 HRS”/”Shake Hands With The Devil”) directs with verve, from a Harv Zimmel story.

A psycho jewel thief kills the jewelry store owner’s wife he holds hostage after a failed hostage negotiation and flees to the country on a foggy night on Frisco Bay. His escape leads FBI lead investigator Warren Stantin (Sidney Poitier) to the rugged Pacific Northwest, on the American side of the Canadian border. The agent, a fish out of water in this terrain, uses the services of the hostile local backwoodsman recluse Jonathan Knox (Tom Berenger) to traverse the mountains to arrest the killer before he makes it over the border into Canada or kills again. Knox’s girlfriend Sarah (Kirstie Alley) is a tour hiking guide who is eventually taken hostage by someone from the group that the viewer doesn’t know is the killer. The gruff Knox, even though wary of the citified agent, wants to make sure no harm comes to his girl and reluctantly teams with the agent in their deadly pursuit

It features beautiful scenery, a functional formulaic story by screenwriters Michael Burton and Dan Petrie, a fair amount of clichés to digest and decent action-film performances by the three stars.