F/X is another movie I remember seeing a lot on TV when I was younger, and went back to watch it again to see if I saw it in a different way. The fact that the hero is a special effects artist certainly appealed to me when I was a kid, as that was my one and only dream job at the time. What happened between the last time I saw this movie and now is that I watched a whole lot of Alfred Hitchcock movies, and this time around I was able to appreciate it as a pretty well crafted wrong man thrill, in which a man falsely suspected of murder has to try to prove his innocence while relying on his wits while on the run from the cops, in the vein of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest or Frenzy. The protagonist here is not some sort of heroic cop in the Bruce Willis mode, but he is not a regular guy either, as he has to use his full arsenal of movie tricks to dodge the cops and catch the bad guys.
Script is great, if not exactly plausible. The acting is uneven. Aussie Bryan Brown is fine in the lead, and Brian Dennehy is wonderful as the frustrated cop who is after the same bad guys as the special effects man. On the other hand, Martha Gehman, who plays the assistant to the effects man delivers her few lines in the most unnatural way imaginable. The music tends to be a bit cheesy, as can only be expected from a film released in 1986.
Reportedly a remake by the same director is in the work, only the latest in a long string of pointless remakes. Not only is this film too good to warrant a remake, especially after only 24 years, the fact that nearly all special effects are done on computer screens makes it seem redundant.