1 1/2 StarsCut-away is a skydiving term referring to disconnecting the main parachute in case of a malfunction so that the reserve parachute can be deployed. It is also a slang-term used to describe, freeing oneself from all life’s responsibilities and turning themselves over to being a skydiving fanatic. Following in the worn pathways of Point Break, Drop Zone, Terminal Velocity, and of course The Fast and Furious films, Cutaway is structured and assembled with a slavish devotion to those previous titles. The main redeeming factor of the picture is showcasing some beautiful aerial footage of real-life divers and the amazing feats they accomplish 15,000 feet in the air.
Stephen Baldwin is cast in the Keanu Reeves role, as a naive undercover cop on the trail of smugglers who may be using the loot to fund their extreme and expensive lifestyles. Tom Berenger is cast in the Patrick Swayze role, sporting a silly earring and spouting philosophical nonsense about the freedom of free-fall, Berenger is totally out of his element and verges on embarrassing. Baldwin’s U.S. Customs agents Vic Cooper is quickly intoxicated by the cult like atmosphere he finds in a small drop zone outside of Miami, Fl. Shortly Cooper is sleeping with the sole female team member and becoming best buds with the ring leader, Redline (Berenger). The lines between professionalism and friendship becomes blurred when Cooper must turn on his new family and bring them to justice.
Cutaway features a cast that is recognizable, which leads me to wonder if they were enticed by the promise of free skydiving lessons. Baldwin isn’t bad here, he can handle the reluctant hero role and his resemblance to more famous siblings is like watching a young Alec slumming in B-movies. Dennis Rodman makes his third film appearance, though this time he is rightfully put on the back-burner and used for name value, only. There is nothing offense or even questionable in content in the entire movie, with a few trims this could play on SPIKE or TNT ad nauseam. Cutaway never comes together as either a campy fun time, or a serious heist flick. It is suspended between amazing b-roll footage and less than average B-movie making.
Director: Guy Manos
Stars: Tom Berenger, Stephen Baldwin, Dennis Rodman