We Bought a Zoo
A widowed father played by Matt Damon moves to the South Californian country and purchases a zoo with his family
On Film4: 31 Aug 6:25PM
Testosterone-pumped actioner meets romantic drama in the flick that launched Richard Gere as a heartthrob hero, while making a mint at the box office
As the white-uniformed trainee naval officer with a troubled past and some mean martial arts skills, Gere is in top smooching form, playing opposite Debra Winger's local girl love interest. Pouring his heart out, racing around on his motorcycle and using his fighting skills to kick some butt (all to the tune of 'Up Where We Belong'), Gere combines a hard-edged military mentality with a surprisingly soft feminine side that's just waiting to be validated by the love of a good woman.
A typical 1980s tale of self-driven success, this is Top Gun without the aerial acrobatics, a reactionary paean to the joys of Reagan's America in which Gere does as much moping as fighting before realising - in the immortal words of Tina Turner - that he really is the best, better than all the rest. As a commentary on American machismo post-feminism, this is an invaluable text, with Gere's feminine side proving that he's enough of an officer and a gentleman to get his leg over and pass his course.
Phenomenally successful at the time of its release, but increasingly dated-looking.
Jack Reynor is Richard, a star athlete who has just left secondary school when a drunken encounter threatens to ruin his future. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, What Richard Did marks Reynor as an extraordinary new talent as a young man who quickly becomes
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