|Director of Photography:||Jack N. Green|
|Producers:||Clint Eastwood and Karen Spiegel|
|Castle Rock; R; 121 minutes|
|Cast:||Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, E.G. Marshall, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Haysbert, Judy Davis, Laura Linney and Melora Hardin|
|Based on the novel by David Baldacci|
Absolute Power seemed doomed from the get-go, with Hackman obviously uncomfortable in the violent sex scene that opens the film. But when the tryst turns deadly, the suspense heats up enough to let us forgive and forget Hackman's stiff performance and the silly, contrived script. While breaking into a well-appointed mansion, professional burglar Luther Whitney (Eastwood) takes refuge in a closet when he hears drunken voices. Imagine his surprise, when looking through a one-way mirror into the bedroom, he sees President Richmond (Hackman) entangled with the trophy wife (Hardin) of octogenarian billionaire Walter Sullivan (Marshall), who helped put Richmond in the White House. Whitney watches as the Secret Service agents pull the trigger on the President's paramour and try to cover up the crime. He escapes with vital evidence that will implicate the President but then has the Secret Service, a hitman hired by Sullivan and a sharp detective (Harris) on his tail. The steely Whitney loses his cool when the agents threaten his estranged daughter (Linney). Eastwood's Whitney is inconsistent, alternating between an aging, remorseful crook and an intrepid criminal, but, as director, he get the most from Balda-
Graham Kuhn/Castle Rock
cci's trashy bestseller.