“Marathon Man” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 12
“Who wears a tie when they eat lunch?”
So, this is a movie I knew absolutely zero about, but for some reason had it in my mind that it was going to be a sci-fi picture. I was surprised when it turned out to be a curious little political/crime thriller.
Dustin Hoffman is an actor I’m more familiar with from his later work, so it was refreshing to see his younger, more vibrant performance in this movie. He carries it, and definitely forms the anchor for the film.
It’s not particularly memorable, but it hits a lot of good beats pushing through the mystery. The love interest is interesting, the brother relationship is interesting, and the villain is interesting, but the film as a whole is a bit lacking. I’m glad I saw it, but I’m also not sure it will stick with me much. That said, it’s well-done, and definitely fits in with the late 70s-era paranoia filmmaking trend.
Interesting fact: Marathon Man was written by the same author as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid AND The Princess Bride – William Goldman. Those three films would make a very unusual marathon, indeed.
Marathon Man was at the time of this review at #205 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #409 among the best movies of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
Marathon Man vs. The Nutty Professor (1996)
I actually don’t think ill of Eddie Murphy’s take on Nutty Professor, but it’s not as good of a film as Marathon Man.
Marathon Man vs. The Devil’s Advocate
I haven’t seen Devil’s Advocate in a while, but I have a relatively strong, positive memory of it. Pacino is a ham and a half. Keanu’s suitably Keanu. Charlize Theron is hot even in a 90s perm.
Marathon Man vs. Daredevil
Yeah, Affleck’s pre-Batman superhero role was ok. I don’t hate Daredevil like most, but Marathon Man wins.
Marathon Man vs. Dumbo
Dumbo is pretty damn good. Animation’s solid. It’s a fairly dark tale. Memorable music. It’ll win the match.
Marathon Man vs. Point Break
Kathyrn Bigelow definitely put her mark on the action genre with Point Break. It’s another I’ve not seen in a very long time, but I have a feeling it would hold up and win over Marathon Man.
Marathon Man vs. Shame
Shame is very good. It’s one that would be hard to rewatch, but it’s a compelling first watch, certainly. Wins.
Marathon Man is now ranked #616 out of 1387 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
My next three films will be Owning Mahowny, Dear Zachary, and In the Mouth of Madness. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.