Deliverance (Boorman, 1972)

Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972)

Deliverance is an interesting, morally ambiguous tale that verged on the edge of greatness, but was too flawed to quite make it there. On the one hand, the film is completely open to interpretation as to what actually happens and who is who during the second half of the film. This aspect I liked. As a viewer, it plays with what you think you know about right and wrong, and puts you in the shoes of true panic. This, coupled with a beautifully shot river setting, are the strengths of the film.

But, on the other hand, this movie is poorly acted. Outside of Jon Voight, I didn’t think anyone was convincing. Ned Beatty wasn’t bad, I guess, but Burt Reynolds and Ronny Cox were almost painful to watch. Also, the whole setup of man’s pending destruction of the river wasn’t needed. The film didn’t need to wag its finger at viewers; it worked fine without that. Thinking back, I might be being too harsh on this. Maybe I’ll like it more as I think it through.  7.5/10

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