A 1997 film directed by Lee Tamahori and written by David Mamet
, starring Anthony Hopkins
and Alec Baldwin.
Charles (Hopkins) and Bob (Baldwin) are flying in a prop-plane over a remote part of Alaska. Charles is a filthy rich Banker. Bob, his ambitious and jealous project/PR manager.
After their plane crashes, a mind game erupts as they try to survive the wilderness.
This film provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Mickey, the supermodel wife of Charles, is played by Elle MacPherson, a real-life supermodel.
- Action Survivor: Charles is well-read on surviving in the wild but has no practical experience of anything other than a comfortable life, but still proves to be the most competent of the three protagonists and is the last man (or bear) standing by the end.
- Badass Bookworm: Charles is incredibly well read, and has accumulated a great deal of knowledge about other cultures and survival techniques over the years. He later proves equally adept at spearing enormous the killer bear.
- Bears Are Bad News: And how! The bear in this film almost reaches levels of Cartoonish Supervillainy.
- Bittersweet Ending: Charles survives and the implication is that he has grown as a person thanks to his ordeal, but both his associates are dead, and his relationship with his wife is over now that he knows for sure that she was cheating with one of them. To put even more of a downer on it, the wife has now lost both the men in her life.
- Black Dude Dies First: Sort of - he is the first to go out of the survivors of the plane crash, but he did outlast the pilot, who died on impact with the water.
- Lampshaded when Stephen comments "Brothers don't last long in situations like this!"
- Celebrity Survivor: Charles
- Chekhov's Gun: The deadfall bear trap. At the end of the film Bob accidentally falls into it when he's about to kill Charles, causing him to suffer a wound that ends up being fatal.
- David Mamet: He wrote the script, and it is filled with his usual scathing observations on male relationships. Less Mamet Speak than may be expected, though.
- Death Equals Redemption: Just before dying, having previously suffered of a mortal wound, Bob apologises to Charles for having betrayed him.
- Distracted from Death: Bob dies unnoticed while Charles is trying to signal the rescue plane.
- Enemy Mine: Bob and Charles are not very known to like each other ( since Bob has a secret affair with Charles's wife), but they team up to kill the bear.
- Gold Digger: Possibly Charles' wife; Bob seems to think that the only reason she's with Charles is because he's filthy rich. Whether that's true or not is never definitively answered.
- Jerkass: Bob isn't shy about letting Charles know how much he resents him for his wealth and his beautiful wife and all but taunts him about the fact that he wants her for himself—and as we later learn, has been having an affair with her. There's also that business about planning to kill him, which becomes a Moral Event Horizon later in the film after Charles has saved his life from the bear and he still presses on with his plan.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: This is how the bear dies.
- Large Ham: It's Anthony Hopkins, so he of course manages to deliver a few side orders of pork to go along with an otherwise commendably restrained performance. "He's a MANKILLER!"
- May-December Romance: Charles is old enough to be Mickey's father.
- Nature Hero: Played with. The billionaire character is shown to be restless in his privileged life and seems to almost enjoy being lost in the wilderness away from the stresses of his normal life and with a chance to prove he can be a survivor. He copes better than his two less well-off companions, though isn't always successful - notably when he fashions a compass but then fouls up using it by holding it too close to his metal belt buckle.
- Perma Stubble: Both Charles and Bob have this look for the whole movie. It generally grows over time, but there are a few inconsistencies where the beard length decreases over time, or makes a large jump over what's just supposed to be an hour or two.
- Precision F-Strike: From Anthony Hopkins of all people.
"Today, I'm going to kill the motherfucker."
- Sacrificial Lion: Bob.
- Super-Persistent Predator: Jurassic Park III's Spinosaurus learned everything he knows from the bear in this film.
- Tempting Fate: Purely coincidental actually, but the airplane being severely compromised by a birdstrike, which eventually led to it crashing, came right after Charles asks Bob how he plans to kill him.
- Too Dumb to Live: "I thought I told you to bury those bloody rags instead of hanging them over a tree branch opposite the camp!" "What's the problem, it's not like there's a murderous 1800 pound bear stalking us...oh wait."
- Entirely possible that Bob did that on purpose in the hopes that the bear would kill Charles and save him the trouble of doing it himself.
- Or maybe he did want it to kill Stephen, so there wouldn't be any witnesses.
- A third possibility is he thought Stephen's wound would slow them down and so he wanted him gone.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Charles isn't exactly ugly, but the general attitude from outside observers (and feared by Charles himself) is that his lovely wife is WAY out of his league and probably wouldn't have given him a second look had he not been wealthy.
- What Could Have Been: Until deciding on the Baldwin/Hopkins pairing, Harrison Ford and Dustin Hoffman were up for the part of Bob and Robert De Niro was considered for the part of Charles.