Although director Carroll Ballard energetically conveys the visceral excitement of high-speed sailing in WIND, his film is scuttled by flat characterizations and a hackneyed screenplay.
In Newport, Rhode Island, Morgan Weld (Cliff Robertson) organizes a racing crew to defend the America's Cup. Among the crew is Will Parker (Matthew Modine), whose fear of success causes Weld to lose the race to an Australian ship. Desolate after the loss and abandoned by both the crew and his
girlfriend Kate (Jennifer Grey), Will ambles around rudderless until he turns up in Nevada, where Kate and her new boyfriend, Joe Heiser (Stellan Skarsgard), are designing airplanes. Inspired by their work, Will convinces them to design a new type of boat to compete in the next America's Cup race.
Armed with the innovative boat, the crew face the Australian defender Jack Neville (Jack Thompson) in a ROCKY-style conclusion.
As with his previous feature films, Ballard here attempts to dramatize the struggle between a human being and an essentially uncaring, irrational natural force. In THE BLACK STALLION and NEVER CRY WOLF, however, the drama succeeded because the environment functioned as a kind of character. That's
not the case with WIND.
Despite Ballard's unique talent for capturing the power and energy of natural forces (the sailing scenes are truly exhilarating), he cannot overcome a derivative screenplay and bland performances. The script, in particular, shows tell-tale signs of having been tampered with by a committee. The
work of iconoclastic screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer (PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID, WALKER) has apparently been watered down in the shuffle, although the raw-edged Nevada sequence and the unusual reading of the Joe Heiser character reflect the kind of film WIND might have been if Wurlitizer's
contributions had been left untouched.
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- Released: 1992
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Although director Carroll Ballard energetically conveys the visceral excitement of high-speed sailing in WIND, his film is scuttled by flat characterizations and a hackneyed screenplay. In Newport, Rhode Island, Morgan Weld (Cliff Robertson) organizes a r… (more)