Review: “A Perfect World”

Last weekend we finally got around to watching “A Perfect World“, the Clint Eastwood film in which Eastwood plays a Texas Ranger trying to catch Kevin Costner’s escaped convict as he makes a run for freedom. Complicating matters is Costner’s hostage, a young boy he snatched during a home invasion. Lacking a father figure at home, it doesn’t take long before the boy starts going all Patty Hearst on us.

“A Perfect World” came out in 1993 so it was interesting to see Costner, Eastwood, Laura Dern, etc., as they looked nearly 20 years ago. (Laura Dern + Airstream Trailer = When are the dinosaurs attacking?) It has been a LONG time since I’ve seen a Kevin Costner movie, and after seeing this one, I concluded he should play bad guys more often — he was really good at it. This is probably the best performance I’ve ever seen from him. Of course, he isn’t ALL bad; he may be ruthless in his attempt to escape, and he may go all psycho when he thinks a child is being abused (having been abused himself), but he’s not quite a sociopath. (For Costner as a sociopath, see “3000 Miles to Graceland”). He does have a sociopath’s charm, especially with the ladies, but that’s probably because he looks like a young Kevin Costner. Eastwood is essentially a supporting player here; it’s Costner’s film from start to finish, with Eastwood’s task force serving mostly as comedy relief.

At first I couldn’t decide if I wanted to watch this or “Carriers”, in which a group of young people attempt to navigate a post-apocalyptic-virus-infected America. After a little kid coughed up blood all over one of the characters in that movie, though, my wife nixed it so we switched over to “A Perfect World” instead. It put her to sleep in about an hour and a half, after which I taped the rest of it to finish later. That probably worked out better than “Carriers” would have.

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