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George At 

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Against All Odds

If you need any proof that movies were much sexier in the 80's then they are today, look no further than the 1984 thriller AGAINST ALL ODDS.

Jeff Bridges (in the best shape of his life and just about to film "Starman") is fading NFL Quarterback Terry Brogan. Brogan is cut by his team, deep in debt and offered a job by a life long friend who has made a lot of money on the wrong side of the tracks.

Jake Wise (James Woods at his oily best) is manipulative, crooked and connected. He hires Brogan to go to Mexico and find his girlfriend Jessie (Rachel Ward) who's escaped his clutches and fleed the country.

Jessie also happens to be the daughter of the uber wealthy owner of Brogan's former team.

Mrs. Wyler (Jane Greer) wants her daughter far from Jake and wants nothing to do with Brogan either.

Mrs. Wyler is neck deep in a major Los Angeles land deal that appears to have a million tentacles above and below the radar. Her right hand counselor Ben Caxton (Richard Widmark in classic form) rules everything and everyone like pawns on a chess board.

But Brogan's moves are unpredictable, as are the film's maneuvers, especially in its last half.

When Brogan and Jessie fall in love in Mexico and decide to stay there for awhile instead of coming back, everything spins out of control.

Unfortunately, that's not a good thing for the film, which starts out strong, but flounders badly in its last half hour.

The story becomes confused, people's motivations seem inconsistent and like Jake, we are left wondering exactly what is really going on.

Bridges is fantastic, Woods is as well.

Ward is interesting, but never quite pulls off the film noir Bacall thing she's going for.

Director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and A Gentleman) executes the romance much better than he does the intrigue and we're left stumbling to an unsatisfying final shot.

The first half is excellent.

But......this one doesn't beat the odds and ends up with a B-.

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