Birds [1963]

This action-comedy from 1990 makes the critical mistake of trying to mix a potentially suspenseful plot with the kind of humor that Mel Gibson can only get away with in his Lethal Weapon movies. It doesn't work here because the movie's supposed to be a Hitchcockian thriller and Mel's wisecracking--not to mention some implausible plot twists and ridiculous chase scenes--makes it impossible to take any of this movie seriously. It works best as a lightweight vehicle for Gibson and Goldie Hawn, who bring their own established appeal to their roles as old lovers who are reunited under unexpectedly dangerous circumstances. After testifying against some drug-running killers, Mel's been safe under the protection of the FBI's witness relocation program, and Goldie coincidentally enters his life again just as the bad guys are hot on Mel's trail. They join up and go on the run from the villains and ... well, let's just say director John Badham doesn't have any big surprises up his sleeve. Goldie and Mel are enjoyable, as always, but you'd have to be their biggest fan to watch this movie more than once. --Jeff Shannon

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