1988 / Director. Roger Spottiswoode.
I was obsessed with SHOOT TO KILL when I was a kid. In Australia it was known as Deadly Pursuit, which is a much more fitting title in my opinion. My folks let me watch films that most parents wouldn't dare expose their kids to and while SHOOT TO KILL isn't the most explicit of them, it's one that stuck with me. I moved to Vancouver in the late 90s and the first thing I did was search for locations from the movie. It's a straight forward chase movie as an FBI agent and a mountain guide pursue a serial killer and his hostage through the Northwest wilderness as the killer attempts to cross the border into Canada. When it comes to wilderness man-hunt films, SHOOT TO KILL ranks up there with First Blood as one of the best. It's a gripping movie and the pace is kept tight at all times with a surprising amount of humour lathered on top. Sidney Poitier and Tom Berenger share a great chemistry on screen and their dynamics keep the story moving along without any unwelcome lulls. The mountain wilderness setting is used effectively and the film's climax through the streets of Vancouver and onto a BC ferry help blend two differing thriller conventions into one exciting adventure. I've always had a lot of time for director Roger Spottiswoode and consider this to be his best film. I've watched it many times over the years (most recently tonight) and it stands up really well. There is almost nothing outdated or aged (except the lack of mobile phones) and it could have easily been made recently. It's a high quality thriller. If you haven't seen it - do.