Is there anybody who uses Chicago locations better than Andrew Davis? Perhaps, fellow Chicagoan Peter Hyams. But otherwise the list is short. Davis once again sets an action thriller in his home city, The Package, although the obvious location could have been Dallas. Particularly, because this story uses the Oswald patsy theory as a narrative set-up for its plot. The Package is an oddly constructed movie that keeps making attempts to become a better film, but ultimately settles on average.
Army sergeant Johnny Gallagher (Gene Hackman) thinks he’s been given a routine assignment. He’s to escort a rebellious solider, Thomas Boyette (Tommy Lee Jones) from a base in Europe to the U.S. for a court-martial. Gallagher soon discovers that the assignment is anything but routine. Boyette makes a daring escape and pursed all across the country. Along the trail, Gallagher discovers a military conspiracy to assassinate the President of American and Russia.
Andrew Davis would score box-office and critical acclaim with his next two pictures, Under Siege and The Fugitive, the latter of which garnered him an Oscar nomination for Best Director. The Davis film cannon is lousy with gems, and even the failures are watchable compared to the B-side movies that most big-time directors produce. This paring of Hackman and Tommy Lee Jones should have amounted to more. We keep waiting for the titans of acting to have more encounters, but their interaction is limited to two scenes. The Package is competently made, intelligently written, and acted with the seriousness needed fort he material. Too bad it doesn’t amount to much excitement or interest when played out.
Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Gene Hackman, Tommy Lee Jones, John Heard