Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

White Sands

White Sands
William Dafoe, Mickey Rourke and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Rated: R For violence.
Reviewed by: Frank and Chris  
Release date: April 14, 1992 Released by: Warner Brothers

William Dafoe plays a New Mexico deputy who becomes intrigued by a dead man named Spencer, an apparent suicide victim, found in the desert with a gun in one hand a grasping a suitcase containing $500,000 with the other.

The deputy calls a phone number found on the body and when he finds out Spencer's associates have never met him, he decides to pass himself off as the dead man. Ray (Dafoe) doesn't know what he's gotten himself into, but he soon finds out when two hulkish women rough him up and steal his suitcase of money.

Ray keeps the meeting for the next day with Gorman Lennox (Mickey Rouke) who turns out to be a slick partner in an illegal arms deal. Their contact is Lane (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), a rich girls who likes thrills. There are a few other players involved here, including the CIA and two separate sets of FBI agents. One group is good and the other is bad, but you're never sure which is which, making the story confusing.

Rourke has played this same sneering, gum-chewing, off-the-wall character so often. I've begun to thinks he's not acting. Playing the romantic lead is new to Dafoe, he smiles a lot and flirts with Lane as if he really likes it, and Mastrantonio, usually the strong willed female, plays a decidedly passive role here, taking her direction from the male actors.

From the opening scene when Dafoe roars through the New Mexico desert, kicking up a storm of dust in his wake, you're expecting a nonstop thriller. That pace slows down considerably after Ray meets Lennox. Even though the film doesn't live up to the anticipated action, the acting is good, the scenery excellent and it's still a pretty good ride.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
White Sands  B   B                     B 

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