Bird on a Wire

Released 1990


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Movie Summary

John Badham

Bird on a Wire is a 1990 action thriller from director John Badham. Rick Jarmin (Mel Gibson) has spent the last fifteen years of his life in witness protection after testifying at the trial of drug dealing FBI agent Eugene Sorensen (David Carradine). Rick's cover gets blown when his former fianc''e, Marianne Graves (Goldie Hawn), recognizes him outside a Detroit gas station. Rick isn't allowed to acknowledge anyone from his earlier life, and refuses to recognize Marianne. She follows him, endangering his protection, and inadvertently puts herself at risk. His cover blown, Rick tries to contact his FBI handler, only to find he's retired, and he has a new handler, Joe Weyburn (Stephen Tobolowsky). Sorensen is out of prison, working with a new partner, Albert Diggs (Bill Duke) and wants to kill Rick in retribution for his damaging testimony. When Rick learns his new contact is in cahoots with Sorensen, he knows he can no longer rely on the FBI to keep him safe. The only way to survive is to partner with his ex, Marianne. After breaking her heart once before, can Rick rely on Marianne to help save his life?



Metacritic Score

  • 63

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    In Bird on a Wire, director John Badham doesn't pay the dues before he brings in the exotic locations. We don't believe the characters, and so the elaborate chases and escapes and ...

  • 63

    Boston Globe Jay Carr

    Bird on a Wire is pedal-to-the-metal moviemaking by the numbers. What it's got going for it is that Goldie Hawn is cute and Mel Gibson is cuter as they struggle to mate screwball c...

  • 50

    Miami Herald

    Badham, a consummate craftsman, certainly knows how to stage his action sequences competently, but they lack spontaneity and thrills. The movie careens from one concocted obstacle ...

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Slapstick, Animals, Pets & Nature, Romantic Comedy