Cutaway (2000 film)

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For the film-making technique, see Cutaway (filmmaking).
Directed by Guy Manos
Produced by Cutting Edge Entertainment
Golden ParaShoot Entertainment
Written by Tony Griffin
Greg Manos
Guy Manos
Ted Williams
Starring Tom Berenger
Stephen Baldwin
Dennis Rodman
Maxine Bahns
Casper Van Dien
Thomas Ian Nicholas
Phillip Glasser
Marcos Ferraez
Adam Wylie
Roy Ageloff
And Ron Silver
Music by Larry Brown
Cinematography Norman Kent
Gerry Lively
Edited by Martin Hunter
Distributed by Artisan Entertainment
Running time
104 min.
Language English
Budget US$9 million (est.)[1]

Cutaway is a 2000 action film about skydiving, directed by Guy Manos and starring Tom Berenger, Stephen Baldwin, Dennis Rodman, Maxine Bahns, Ron Silver, Casper Van Dien, and Thomas Ian Nicholas. The film features numerous aerial stunts and much of the film was shot in Miami. This was Dennis Rodman's third film. The term "cut-away" is used frequently in the film, in reference to parachuting and also in reference to life in general.



The film opens with a review of U.S. Customs Agent, Victor "Vic" Cooper's (Baldwin) personnel file, which shows that he struggles to disassociate his undercover identities from his real one. Despite the file's recommendation that he not return to active duty, he is cleared for work by Lieutenant Brian Margate (Silver). His first action back is a raid on a Bimini-based seafood importer, who Cooper believes is smuggling drugs. He is embarrassed to find only shrimp on the plane, and the pilot goes free.

Because Cooper personally witnessed drugs being loaded onto the plane, he realizes that the only way that they could have been offloaded during the flight is via parachute. He visits a random drop zone and pretends to be interested in taking lessons. Star (Bahns) shows him around and introduces him to the jump team that runs the camp. Cooper and Star begin flirting immediately, and he enjoys his lessons. She explains how most people there have "cut away" from their old lives to focus just on diving. The term also refers to cutting away from your main chute to use your reserve.

Cooper gets Lt. Margate to approve more undercover work, and he visits the Army jump team for some tips from their leader Delmira (Dien). When he returns to the dive camp much improved, Randy "Turbo" Kingston (Rodman) is skeptical of Cooper and remains aloof. As Cooper's dives improve, the leader of the team, Red Line (Berenger) takes an interest in him. Eventually, Cooper is allowed to join the team. As his proficiency increases, he is able to enter the formation faster, which moves him further back in the roster towards Red Line, who always comes out last because he is the fastest diver. This causes internal tension, as well as his romance with Star.

Eventually, Turbo can no longer stand to see Cooper moving closer to his position in front of Red Line. During one dive, Red Line makes Turbo and Cooper fight to see who is the fastest. Turbo goes into a nose dive to move at maximum speed, but he breaks his neck when he plows into the team formation. With Turbo dead, Cooper is elevated to Red Line's second in command, which means that he has to take on Turbo's responsibility with helping Red Line raise money to fund the team.

Red Line takes him on a job with the Bimini seafood importer. Prior to landing on Bimini, Cooper and Red Line jump out of the plane. They retrieve the drugs which are hidden just off the runway. Meanwhile, the pilot loads her official cargo and clears customs. Cooper and Red Line sneak back on the plane with the drugs, and then they dive off the plane again to a buyer's house. They pick up enough money to fund 100 more dives.

Cooper and Red Line go on a series of jumps like this, until they end up at one where the FBI has a sting operation in place. When the FBI raids the party where Cooper and Red Line have arrived with the drugs, Lt. Margate's team moves in. In the ensuing gun fight, Red Line and Lt. Margate end up facing each other with guns drawn. Cooper tackles Red Line, and they jump off the roof together. Red Line is severely injured though, but Cooper forces the team to move forward to the Nationals, where the Army team is waiting to beat them again.

Though badly impaired, Red Line manages to jump with the team, and they are competitive through the first few rounds, until a bad mistake leaves them needing a world record time to beat Army. Before the final jump, Red Line moves Cooper into his position, and the team records a 9.90 second formation jump, establishing a world record and winning the Nationals. As they are floating to the ground, Cooper reveals his identity and arrests Red Line. Not surprised at the news, Red Line stoically cuts away from his main chute and falls to the ground. Cooper morns over Red Line's body, and the film ends with him walking away from Lt. Margate towards his dive team.

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