Anthony Hopkins & Alec Baldwin Fight To Survive in This Heart-Pounding Thriller


The big picture

  • With Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin,
    is a brutal survival thriller with a timeless exploration of human resilience.
  • The film examines class differences and existentialism through convincing performances from Hopkins and Baldwin.
  • The action is grounded and not sensationalized, offering unique existentialist themes.

Survival thrillers have been a popular genre for generations, and for good reason; the notion of ordinary characters placed in unforeseen circumstances often forces the audience to think about how they might respond in a similar situation. There is a timelessness to a great wilderness thriller, as the surrounding events and time period are less important than the minutiae of surviving each moment. It's unfortunate that the industry has delivered fewer of these films in recent years, though the underrated 1997 thriller Threshold is one of the most brutal survival movies ever made.

narratively, Threshold it doesn't break any new ground as it shares some familiar plot points with other films in the genre. What does elevating the film, however, is its craftsmanship. Experienced action filmmaker Lee Tamahoriwho directed the James Bond film die another day and the James Patterson adaptation A spider came, adds a level of brutality that can surprise even the most hardcore fans of the genre. Plus, the Oscar-nominated writer's clever script David Mamet ensures that Threshold throw in some commentary on class differences and existentialism. With great performances from Alec Baldwin i Anthony Hopkins, Threshold is a terrifying examination of what men do in a desperate situation.


A harrowing journey unfolds in the Alaskan wilderness where a billionaire and a photographer, stranded after a plane crash, must navigate treacherous terrain and evade a deadly grizzly bear. As they struggle against the harsh environment, their underlying tensions surface, fueled by suspicions of betrayal and ulterior motives. Their quest for survival becomes a thrilling psychological contest, pushing them to their physical and mental limits. The film deftly blends suspense and adventure, offering a fascinating exploration of human resilience, trust and the instinct to overcome insurmountable odds.

Publication date
September 26, 1997

Lee Tamahori

Execution time
117 minutes

David Mamet

What is 'The Edge' about?

Threshold It focuses on the consequences of a plane crash, in which three men on a business trip must work together to survive in the cold Alaskan wilderness. Wealthy businessman Charles Morse (Hopkins) intended to take a long vacation to celebrate his birthday with his wife, Mickey (Elle Macpherson); his photographer Bob Green (Baldwin) and assistant Steve (Harold Perrineau) had only followed him out of obligation. Although the three men rarely socialized on a personal level before the accident, they are unexpectedly forced to trust each other when it becomes clear that no one is looking for them in the right place. Tensions rise when it becomes clear that a wild bear is roaming the area, and it could mean death for anyone who ventures into dangerous territory.

Threshold uses the survival thriller genre to examine the disparity between economics; Prior to the accident, both Steve and Bob had been subjected to Charles as they had to live up to his every word in order to secure their jobs. When stripped of any recognizable infrastructure, there is nothing to motivate these men beyond survival. Mamet does a great job of showing how the new parameters constantly inspire Steve and Bob to question their learned behavior. Initially, they continue to follow Charles' orders as they assume he has knowledge of the situation based on his position of authority. It is only after Charles reveals himself to be completely ignorant of desert life that Steve and Bob begin to become independent leaders. Charles' resistance to questioning his authority leads to some of the film's most memorable exchanges.

While the emphasis on character interactions adds an interesting perspective, Threshold he spares no expense with his brutality. Steve's death at the hands of a bear comes as a shocking moment that signals that neither Charles nor Bob are safe, and that they must become completely different people if they have any hope of surviving much longer. . It is interesting to see how only a few months of isolation from civilization inspire these men to become animals and primitives; the disparity between how they performed in the opening segments before the crash and after only further indicates what a dramatic development has taken place.



Anthony Hopkins tried to fire David Lynch from 'The Elephant Man'

Lynch would have been fired from 'The Elephant Man' if Sir Anthony Hopkins had had his way.

'The Edge' features Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins vs. Type

While Tamahori's expertly crafted action certainly helps the film reach its climactic moments, Threshold manages to cast its protagonists in different roles than they usually play. Although he is known for playing civilian and authoritative figures, Hopkins gives an unusually nasty performance as a man ill-equipped for a life without privileges. Hopkins manages to show that even when he finds himself in a situation where he has to be somewhat selfless, Charles still clings to the animosities of his life before; he even starts criticizing Bob, assuming he had an affair with his wife. Despite being a fairly unsympathetic character, Hopkins manages to ratchet up the tension by showing the depraved levels to which Charles will sink.

Although he previously handled Mamet's dialogue in a scene-stealing role Glengarry Glen RossBaldwin gives one of his most intimate and vulnerable performances in Threshold. It is suggested that despite the horrible treatment he suffers from Charles, Bob still has faith that the situation will be fixed and that he will be treated fairly if given the chance to prove himself. The story becomes even more heartbreaking when Bob realizes that the events in the desert are unlikely to affect his life afterwards; even in the depths of the desert, Charles will never consider him equal.

'The Edge' takes its survival action seriously

Although it would have been very easy to treat the material as camp, Threshold he doesn't sensationalize his action sequences in order to make the film more exciting. The infamous “bear attack” scene is certainly entertaining, but it feels grounded because the movie has already spent time showing the detail-oriented survival methods that Charles and Bob developed. Tamahori does not attempt to characterize the outdoors as inherently evil; rather, his criticism is leveled at the characters for being so ill-equipped to survive in an environment without the assets of technology.

Threshold it is not a traditional summer blockbuster, as its existentialist themes and shocking moments of brutality may create a stronger barrier to entry for some viewers averse to extreme content. However, its universal themes and excellent performances certainly give it broad appeal. Movies like this aren't made by major studios anymore, so they're worth appreciating Threshold for what a unique entry into the film market it really is.

Threshold is available to stream on Max in the US

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