Long before Cormack McCarthy and the Coen Brothers collaborated on the Oscar-winning classic, No Country for Old Men, a similarly plotted thriller Flashpoint, dealt with the same themes. Released in 1984 to little fanfare both critically and commercially, it now waits to be rediscovered by audiences that may appreciate it’s offbeat script and electronic score from 1980’s staple Tangerine Dream.
Two Texas border guards (Kris Kristofferson and Treat Williams) unearth the skeletal remains of a man at the wheel of a jeep, buried in the desert sands. With the body, the guards also discover $800,000 in cash and the man’s wallet, which contains two mysterious phone numbers. Their secret discovery has also disrupted a quite conspiracy that threatens to end their lives. Now, the guards must race against time, and an unknown enemy force to make it out of the desert alive.
Flashpoint has a great cast in Kristofferson, Williams and Rip Torn. Their easygoing professionalism guides the film over a few rough patches in the opening act. The picture has a riveting second act and nearly hits a home run before faltering in the big reveal during the climax. The revelation that shocks the lead character isn’t as impactful as intended, because the audience already knew the secret. Still, a moody score, stylish direction and great acting elevate this lost flick into must-see status.
Director: William Tannen
Stars: Kris Kristoffferson, Treat Williams, Rip Torn