Eureka | Chicago Reader

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Nicolas Roeg's 1982 film stars Gene Hackman as a prospector who strikes it rich and then must decide how to fill the rest of his life; he moves to a Caribbean island and looks on fretfully while his daughter (Theresa Russell) carries on with an oily European aristocrat (Rutger Hauer). Roeg's subject seems to be the permutations of desire (material and sexual) and the high price of getting what you want, but as usual he does his best to obscure his themes beneath his space-fracturing editing style. Roeg has a way of hiding his exposition behind ambiguous symbols while inflating marginal incidents into major set-pieces that makes his work seem rich and mysterious—an illusion that functions well enough for entertainment purposes until the denouement reveals that the most obvious interpretations were the right ones all along. But there is enough stylish sex and amusing character work (the supporting cast includes Ed Lauter, Mickey Rourke, Joe Pesci, and Helen Kallianiotis) to carry the day.

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