Enough gadgetry to fill a Bond film and enough bodies to fill the city morgue! Also, some wit. But sophisticated it ain't. Succeeds because of Brown's charm (that accent!) and Dennehy's performance.
Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy star in F/X , which turned out to be a fine, inventively sophisticated on-the-run thriller with some outstanding make-up FX work, rock solid performances and compelling writing in which a highly regarded special effects artist Rollie Tyler is hired by the justice department to stage an assassination of an important underworld figure. Unknowingly to him, the department is trying to destroy any evidence of the scheme and another loose end includes him. Double-crossed, he goes in hiding and soon he's being pinned for the murder. So he reverts to his bag of tricks to uncover the truth.The gimmicky props amuse, but the elaborate story (while at times too convenient in its developments) keeps a good pace and stays on the move. The mysterious build-up does peter out into standard on-the-run mechanisms. Brown is suitably good in the role as Tyler and Dennehy is perfectly pitched as the grizzled cop on the case. The support cast has the likes of Cliff DeYoung, Diana Venora, Mason Adams, Jerry Orbach and Tom Noonan. Robert Mandel's direction is well-oiled, but quite formulaic with its old fashion suspense and cat-and-mouse thrills, as it seems like life goes onto imitate art. Bill Conti' scores the enchantingly characteristic music to good effect. "F/X " is showy and implausible, but conventionally exciting.
New York City crime boss, soon to go on trial against his cohorts, needs to be eliminated via simulation to distract the Mob; two government agents enlist the aid of a special effects movie-wizard to set up a phony assassination--though the 30 G's they pay him consequently includes the movie-man also pulling the trigger. This original screenplay by Robert T. Megginson and Gregory Fleeman would appear to be a real pip, at least until common sense prevails and the whole thing begins to look like a house of cards. Bryan Brown is fine in the lead, giving us a good sense of his fear and paranoia without losing his dignity, but the rest of the players do not fare as well. Brian Dennehy--portraying one of those put-upon police lieutenants always on the verge of being forced into turning in his badge--slips into wily caricature, while the ladies in the cast are used as either targets or gophers. The film has ingenuity but no spirit, and the final game of cat-and-mouse (though possibly satisfying for those attracted to movie-shorthand) strains credulity. A sequel featuring Brown and Dennehy followed five years later. ** from ****
F/X is a fun film concerning a special effects expert who is hired by the CIA to supervise a sting operation concerning a slimy crime boss. Unfortunately for him he's being set up as the patsy in a plot by the law officials themselves.Good story in an entertaining thriller that doesn't take itself too seriously and throws in a lot of humorous situations to lighten the mood. Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy are old pros who could sleepwalk through roles like these and their presence gives the film added value. Jerry Orbach is always fun to watch and he delivers in the bad guy role. The script is well written and original, the movie is fast paced and suspenseful and wickedly funny at times. It's not hard to recommend this film.