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Two college students get a summer job on an offshore oil rig. They are soon approached by a co-worker who had earlier befriended them, and who now tries to draw them into a plot to murder the rig's crew chief.
Toby Kellogg is an aspiring musician, who's sent off to music school over the summer. Not wishing to stay away from his band and potential girlfriend, he slips away late one night, where soon after police storm his sleeping dorm in looking for him. He returns home, expecting further grief from his folks and disappointment from his kid brother David, only to find his family is nowhere to be found, in fact house is completely devoid of all it's contents...in-short abandoned. He isn't aware that his father stumbled across a mafia conspiracy and has been spirited away along with his wife and son, by witness protection program. But none of that matters know since an ace assassin has just gunned down his closest friend in mistaken identity and is now back to correct his goof. Written by
Moving Target is basically the epitome of the term of 'enjoyable thriller'. It offers no substance and you won't remember much of it for long after it finishes; but it's fun to watch, and that's the important thing. The film is a made for TV movie, and so doesn't feature any spectacular stunts or heavy violence; and instead relies on the story and suspense to pull it through...which unfortunately doesn't always pay off as director Chris Thomson doesn't succeed in ensuring that the film is always interesting. Anyway, the plot focuses on Toby Kellogg; a teenage kid that gets sent to music school during the summer. He doesn't enjoy it much while he's there, and when he finds out that his band has enjoyed some success in his absence; he leaves the school and sets off home. However, he's surprised when he gets there and finds that his parents have shipped out...along with all the furniture. The next thing Toby knows, he's been hunted down; by both the cops and a mean assassin that drives a Ferrari. Toby struggles against his pursuers while trying to find out what happened to his family.
The film very much feels like a product of it's time; and a low quality eighties vibe runs throughout it. This isn't helped by the lead actor. Jason Bateman cuts a rather irritating figure in the central role. He tries to play it as the typical disrespectful kid; but looks too old and comes off looking a bit silly. The film is not overly suspenseful either, and there were many times that I found myself not really caring what was going to happen next; and this is not good in a film that relies on suspense to keep itself afloat. Perhaps most disappointing of all is the way that the chase aspect of the plot is handled; the lead character never really seems to be in a lot of trouble and Jack Wagner's Ferrari-driving villain is more hilarious than imposing. It's all pretty predictable too; and only a rather dark scene that sees a kid killed in cold blood offered any sort of surprise. Still, despite all the negative elements; Moving Target simply offers the viewer a chance to switch their brain off for ninety minutes and enjoy...and it does at least work as light entertainment.
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