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By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
April 26, 1994


Dennis Hopper
Tom Berenger;
William McNamara;
Erika Eleniak;
Gary Busey;
Crispin Glover;
Dean Stockwell;
Marilu Henner;
Dennis Hopper
sex, nudity and violence

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Erika Eleniak, TV's bosomy Baywatcher, throws the only curves in "Chasers," Dennis Hopper's failed flirtation with macadam madcap. A romantic road movie derivative of "The Last Detail," it concerns two shore patrolmen (Tom Berenger and William McNamara) assigned to transport the unjustly convicted Eleniak from a nearby Marine base to the base's brig.

Berenger, a gruff -- but we suspect lovable underneath his barnacles -- Navy veteran, plays by the rules and regulations. He makes a predictable foil for McNamara, a cocky young wheeler-dealer who has managed to filch thousands of dollars from Navy Supply and Inventory Control. Given their differing ethics, the fellows squabble till they arrive at the Marine base, where a rabid jailer (Gary Busey) hands over the sumptuous seaman second-class. Though she seems compliant, Eleniak repeatedly and tiresomely escapes from her captors by pretending that she is having her period, that she has to go to the bathroom, that she wants McNamara bad.

The screenplay, by the team of Joe Batteer and John Rice and doctored by Dan Gilroy, is standard issue, as insufferable in its situations as it is in its characterizations. Berenger, who tries to growl some life into his role, sounds as if he's been gargling cat litter, while McNamara shows off the work of his orthodontist a la Tom Cruise. For Eleniak, there's always Hooters.

"Chasers" is rated R for sex, nudity and violence.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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