Gorky Park | Chicago Reader

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William Hurt seems to have caught a dose of Meryl Streep-itis in this lumpy thriller about a Russian cop investigating a murder in Moscow: he's all technique and no presence. British director Michael Apted (Coal Miner's Daughter) had the bizarre idea to cast his film almost entirely with British character actors, in the apparent hope of making the world of his film sound effectively foreign. But when the entire British class system—from patricians to plebes—is dropped down in the middle of the USSR, the effect is a little disorienting. Hurt gets to affect a British accent too, but leading lady Joanna Pacula gets to play it Slavic—does that make her more Russian than Russian? Apted's tedious, literal-minded approach doesn't come close to solving the problems of a knotty, best-seller plot—the characters are reduced to telling each other what happened. Some action-movie slam-bang would have been more satisfying, if ultimately no more coherent. With Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy, and Ian Bannen (1983).

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