Robert De Niro gets out of jail with only one thought in mind – to get revenge on the defence lawyer (Nick Nolte) he feels let him down 14 years before.
Martin Scorsese’s chilling remake of the excellent 1962 film turns a tattoo-covered De Niro into an almost indestructible primeval force.
His menacing presence brings to the surface the tensions in Nolte’s marriage to Jessica Lange and also, very pointedly, the confused feelings of their 15-year-old daughter Juliette Lewis.
The stars of the original movie, Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, have decent cameo roles – Mitchum’s police chief delivers the film’s best line when he says of De Niro, ‘I don’t know whether to book him or read him’.
Bernard Herrmann’s memorable original theme music is also back to put a suspenseful frame on the action, which culminates with a tense game of cat-and-mouse on a storm-tossed houseboat.