Movie Kumite: Drop Zone vs. Cutaway
In previous editions of Movie Kumite we have seen war heroes fight it out, we have seen dueling vigilantes and we’ve even had a ninja battle. This time around it is skydiver street fight as Drop Zone and Cutaway go toe to toe in our cinematic slugfest!
Both of our skydiving themed movies, featured members of law enforcement going undercover and learning to skydive. Drop Zone featured Wesley Snipes, while Cutaway featured Stephen Baldwin.
To me the role of Agent Vic Cooper was perfect for Stephen Baldwin. I believed the internal conflict he was experiencing as the movie went on and he got in deeper and deeper with Red Line and his crew.
On the other hand Wesley Snipes seemed out of place in this movie. It felt like this movie would have been a better vehicle for Martin Lawrence or Eddie Griffin, since Snipes comes across buffoonish at times where a more comedic actor would have been better suited for the role. IMDB trivia states the role was actually going to go to Steven Seagal and I couldn’t see Seagal playing Pete Nessip the way Snipes did.
Cutaway gets this round.
DROP ZONE – 0 CUTAWAY – 1
THE SKYDIVING GURUS
Believability comes into play again in our next round as both Cutaway and Drop Zone had skydiving gurus who lead their team of skydivers. Drop Zone had Yancy Butler of Hard Target and Witchblade fame, while Cutaway had Tom Berenger.
Butler did an admirable job in her role, but when you compare the character of Jessie Crossman with the character of Red Line, there really is no comparison. Red Line is a memorable character and Berenger seems like he’s the type of guy if he knocked on your door right now, he could convince you to go skydiving with him.
Score another one for Cutaway.
DROP ZONE – 0 CUTAWAY – 2
THE SKYDIVING TEAMS
Drop Zone and Cutaway both feature a collection of colorful characters that comprise their respective skydiving teams with names like Rip, Cord, Swoop Star, Jagger and Boom-Boom.
But for me this one comes down to Turbo (Dennis Rodman) and Selkirk (Corin Nemec). Now Rodman is not a bad guy to have on your team, ask Michael Jordan. But who wouldn’t want Parker Lewis on their team?! I’m not sure if you know this or not but Parker Lewis Can’t Lose!
And with that said, Drop Zone gets on the board!
DROP ZONE – 1 CUTAWAY – 2
THE SUPPORTING CAST
Aside from the skydiving gurus and teams, there are other key players in both movies.
Cutaway has the late Ron Silver and in a small, but pivotal role, our favorite space bug killer Casper Van Dien.
As awesome as those two gentlemen may be, even their combined star power can’t match the icon that is Gary Busey. If Silver and Van Dien weren’t in Cutaway, it would still be watchable. Without Busey, I don’t think I’d want to watch Drop Zone.
The Busey Effect ties things up!
DROP ZONE – 2 CUTAWAY – 2
Now is the point in the competition where I turn things over to two of the most respected movie related sites on the internet, IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, to determine our winner.
Drop Zone has an IMDB rating of 5.6. Cutaway has a 5.2 IMDB rating.
Over on Rotten Tomatoes Cutaway has a 47% approval rating, while Drop Zone has a shockingly low 32% approval rating.
The critics split the points and we remain at a stalemate.
DROP ZONE – 3 CUTAWAY – 3
Looks like we are heading into overtime in this edition of Movie Kumite and we will determine the winner with this round of competition.
Which of these two skydiving themed movies feels more authentic?
Both films have instant skydiving credibility because of one man, Guy Manos. Manos was a world champion skydiver and he wrote Drop Zone and co-wrote the screenplay for Cutaway as well as directed the film.
But Drop Zone seems hokey at times, especially with their obvious use of green screen technology for some of the jumps. Yes it is good we get to see the actors descending back to earth, but it feel like an old episode of Batman with Adam West.
Cutaway felt like the real deal and probably has the advantage because Manos was in the director’s chair, so he was able to bring his story to life. And really who better to direct a movie about skydiving than a guy with over 10,000 jumps to his credit.
DROP ZONE– 3 CUTAWAY – 4
Congratulations Cutaway you have won our first ever skydiving themed Movie Kumite… but something tells me it won’t be our last, rumor has it Terminal Velocity was looking to challenge the winner of this battle!