Rescue Me

(Youth adventure color)

The gifted actor Stephen Dorff should not be wasted in films like Rescue Me, a dull, formulaic coming-of-age saga that masquerades as an action-adventure. Theatrical release is just a warm-up en route to video, though it's doubtful that many sensible viewers would ever rent embarrassingly inept picture.

Set in an unidentified Nebraska town, Rescue Me centers on Fraser (Stephen Dorff), a smart adolescent who lives with his mother (Dee-Wallace Stone), but never knew his father, a Vietnam hero. Dorff, who has never been kissed before, is infatuated with Ginny (Ami Dolenz), the attractive class queen, unfortunately engaged to another boy. When Dolenz is kidnapped, in a silly plot that involves two dumb thugs (Peter DeLuise and William Lucking), Dorff joins forces with Mac, a tough-but-sensitive Vietnam vet, who becomes his surrogate father and thus instructs him how to behave like a man.

Every single element in Mike Snyder's uninspired screenplay is a recycled cliche, from the naive but handsome Dorff, who needs to get laid, to the sentimental father-son saga that evolves between Dorff and Dudikoff. Dorff's personal charm and natural talent help overcome the thin, overly familiar material, but Dudikoff plays a disturbingly stereotypical role.

Helmer Arthur Allan Seidelman stages the story, including its chase scenes, in a slow, monotonous tempo. Tech credits are flat and on the raw side, particularly Hanania Baer's murky lensing and Bert Glatstein's jarring editing that occasionally truncates scenes before they're over.

Credits

A Cannon Pictures production and release in association with Apollo Pictures. Produced by Richard Alfieri. Executive producers, Jere Henshaw and David A. Smitas. Directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman. Screenplay, Mike Snyder. Camera (color), Hanania Baer; editor, Bert Glatstein; music, Al Kasha, Joel Hirschhorn, David Waters; production design, Elayne Barbara Ceder; set decoration, Gary Moreno; costume design, Lennie Barin; sound (ultra stereo), Richard Birnbaum; associate producers, Russ Chesley, Joseph M. Eastwood, Greg Johnson, Mike Snyder; assistant director, Robert Sonntag; casting, Nancy Lara Hansch. Reviewed at the Pacific Hollywood, L.A., December 4, 1993. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 90 min.

Cast

Daniel “Mac” MacDonald….Michael Dudikoff
Fraser Sweeney……………Stephen Dorff
Ginny………………………Ami Dolenz
Rowdie…………………..Peter DeLuise
Kurt…………………..William Lucking
Sarah Sweeney…………Dee-Wallace Stone