Stretch your imaginations, please. Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood) is the
meticulous cat-burglar who needs a last lot of goodies to see him through an
easy retirement. Unfortunately, it's his rotten luck that, while hidden from
view in the treasure trove behind a secret door with a one-way mirror, he
witnesses a brutal and vicious crime. The lover of the wife of the rich
powerbroker (whose house Whitney has broken into) kills his mistress in a fit
of rage. His presence almost remains undetected by the assailant and his
cohorts (Secret Service agents), but at the last minute they clock the
uninvited guest who has seen what he should not have seen and must, as a
result, be stopped from telling the tale. Oh, by the way, the killer is the
President of the United States (Gene Hackman). Have I got your attention
yet? If you get past this much (which takes place in the first ten minutes) you
might even believe the rest of the film.
Castlerock International © 1997
ABSOLUTE POWER .
Photo by: Graham Kuhn.
Now, the American nation has always found it necessary to keep some
secrets from the people, but this one, as you can imagine, is mighty important
to keep under covers. After all, nobody wants a presidential impeachment,
do they? Solution to the problem: shift the blame. Easiest method: aim it
toward the untrustworthy thief that broke into the house unannounced. This
seems to be the easiest way out (as opposed to "No Way Out") for all
concerned except, of course, Mr. Whitney, whose mission now becomes
revealing the truth and saving his ass. A reel tale of honor among thieves.
Producer Karen Spiegel met lawyer David Baldacci in 1992 and, after
working together on 4 screenplays, they discussed a 3 paragraph outline that
eventually became Baldacci's best-selling novel "Absolute Power". (Talk
about success stories.)
Direction by Eastwood of a script adapted by William Goldman with a cast
including Gene Hackman, Judy Davis, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn and E.G.
Marshall make this more palatable than it might otherwise have become. But
puh-leze, gimme a break. Would you vote for this man?
© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett