On the Edge (1985) Review
By Christopher Null
For 100 years, the Dipsea has been one of running's most grueling races -- seven miles along unpaved forest trails from inland to the Pacific Ocean in Mill Valley, California, going up and down two mountains en route.
On the Edge uses the Dipsea (here called the Cielo Sea) as the backdrop for this sports fable, and it's a far cry from films like Chariots of Fire. Bruce Dern (himself a real runner) stars as Wes Holman, a disgraced athlete who blew the whistle on amateur payola and ended up taking the fall for it. Despite external pressures and being a little out of shape, Holman trains for the race, the reasons and motivations of which form the core of the movie.
Dern is fine in the film, though it's structurally strange and frequently cold. Endless scenes of Holman running around in the woods just don't get his serious emotion across: The real story is in Wes's mind, not on the trail, and frankly we spend to much time out there -- even if it is a sports movie at heart.
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Cast & Crew