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Final Approach

Final Approach (1991) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  100m  •    •  Directed by: Eric Steven Stahl.  •  Starring: James Sikking, Hector Elizondo, Madolyn Smith Osborne, Kevin McCarthy, Cameo Kneuer, Wayne Duvall, Karen Person, David Bonaiuto, Duffy Rutledge, Colin Vogel, Robert Jay Stahl, Hank Garrett, Maarten Goslins.  •  Music by: Kirk Hunter.
       Col. Jason Halsey (USAF) has just had a terrible air disaster and can't remember a thing -- even his name. Now he must go head-to-head with the psychiatrist Dr. Gottlieb as his only chance to recover his memory.


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Image from: Final Approach (1991)
Image from: Final Approach (1991)
Image from: Final Approach (1991)
Image from: Final Approach (1991)
Image from: Final Approach (1991)
A man becomes aware of himself. He doesn't know who he is, what has happened to him, or why he is now sitting in an ethereal waiting room studying his reflection in a glass ashtray. Before he can learn the answers about himself, he must first learn how to find the answers from within.

For those concerned with spoilers, the blurb for this movie, the cover illustration, and the opening sequence somewhat reveal the background. They also tend to make the movie look like it might be something that it's not. I would have opted for a blurb more like my first paragraph and a cover picture of said man (James Sikking) and a psychiatrist-looking guy (Hector Elizondo) standing nose-to-nose, obviously in deep discussion. It is the mystery of the unknown and the dialog between the two men that make the movie. The flight scenes are just the icing on the cake. And this is what undoubtedly kills the movie for so many viewers. If you are expecting exciting, high-flying actionadventure with thrilling over-the-top special effects, you're going to be seriously disappointed when you get two people talking in an office with a spattering of flashbacks and airplane clips. Spare this excellent movie another zero and watch something else!

"Final Approach" is pure drama. It presents a never-ending stream of suspense in the form of a mind game between a lost soul and the person trying to help him find himself. As you follow the story you begin to understand the nature of psychoanalysis and how Hector's character puts it to effective use. As bits and pieces of the man's life are recovered, the mystery is unraveled. At the climax of the movie we discover who he is, what happened to him, and where he is going. Movies of this type are rare and this one is damned good!

Make no mistake, "Final Approach" has it's share of stunning visuals, they just aren't in the form of cutting-edge special effects. They are subtle, presenting themselves in the form of atmosphere; the walls, the lighting, the furnishings, the clothing, and even Hector Elizondo's beard. To fully appreciate this movie you must have a love for the human mind and a firm grasp of the concept that less is more.

Review by KadrianBlackwolf from the Internet Movie Database.