Lawrence O'Toole
August 07, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sure to become a cult video favorite, this visionary, intense, and complex epic from Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire) follows a man (William Hurt) across four continents as he transports a camera that will allow his blind mother (Jeanne Moreau) to see. Set in 1999, with a nuclear satellite about to plunge to earth, the film has a renegade poetic spirit, mostly embodied by an obsessed woman (Solveig Dommartin) who, in addition to several other interested parties, chases after Hurt.

At almost three hours, on video End of the World loses in scope and gains in manageability. Wenders’ weird and wired view of the near future tempts replay as often as the sensational soundtrack (U2, Talking Heads, Patti Smith). The only liability is the sluggish Dommartin, the director’s companion, confirming that nepotism seldom pays.

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