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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Boys who like fast toys

Author: BroadswordCallinDannyBoy from Boston, MA
27 March 2007

Nick James is a professional stunt driver on his way to prison. However, bad guys with evil plans decide to use him as a getaway driver for a very important job, kidnapping the President of the United States, so they ambush the prison bus and coerce him to go along with them. Naturally, Nick James is a good guy at heart and starts to work things his way.

The good thing about this movie is that the opening scene lets you know right away what you're in for - a nice, though very overdone epic score, plays during the beginning scenes. It seems to be music from bigger and more expensive action pictures like "The Rock" or "Batman Begins." Though the score oddly complements the outrageous chase scenes which are pretty well done, but thoroughly silly. Thankfully, the rest of the plot is equally silly so overall it works out as an enjoyable no-brainer action movie.

The film's tagline of this being the greatest chase movie ever, however is really the one unnecessarily overdone thing. It's not and in watching you can see that it doesn't really try to be so for a truly intriguing and involving thriller, look elsewhere. This is just lots of fun for boys who like fast toys. --- 6/10

Rated R for violence and profanity

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

If it's car stunts and blow-ups you seek, look no further!

Author: Comeuppance Reviews from United States Minor Outlying Islands
12 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nick James (Madsen) is a professional stunt car driver who is on his way to prison. While riding the prison transfer bus, Lacey (Everhart) and the stupidly-named Clay Ripple (Williams) manage to break him out and he escapes. They do this because they are the minions of super-villain Lamar (David). Lamar hears that Nick is the best at what he does and they want him to be the wheelman for a bank robbery. Nick wants no part of it, but they kidnap his wife Nadia (Christopherson) and say they will kill her if he doesn't comply. But there's something bigger afoot: to quote the movie's tagline, "Kidnapping the President is worth a hell of a lot of money". So while Nick does technically kidnap President Carlson (Scheider), The Prez is sympathetic to Nick's situation and they vow to take down Lamar's terrorist organization.

PM once again delivers the car-flipping-over-and-exploding-in-the-middle-of-the-street goods, at least in the action department. Sure, the chase scenes are overlong and contain some classic clichés (fruit carts and women with carriages, the only thing missing was two workers carrying a large pane of glass), but, like Last Man Standing (1996), it seems Pepin & Merhi were trying, even STRIVING for theatrical quality. It doesn't quite make it, but at least they're trying, unlike many of their competitors.

One of the more convincing reasons to watch this movie is the cast. We didn't even mention Robert Miano and Matthias Hues. Sadly, it's a nothing role for Hues, as he plays Vic, a bank robber who gets shot (remind you of any other Michael Madsen movies?). He doesn't appear until forty minutes into the film, and has only one line of spoken dialogue: "I Can't". Unless you count some of his moanings and groanings while he is wounded. Gareth Williams is hate-able as Ripple, Keith David goes way over the top as the main baddie, but what do you expect of a criminal mastermind with an underground command center so large, it has its own name - "Area 55"? But somehow the authorities don't know this place exists. Maybe that's because it's "two hours outside L.A.". Because nothing exists there, right? Scheider plays exactly the same role he does in The Peacekeeper (1997) (why is he even here?), Madsen is laconic, and Everhart is fun to watch as she plays the villainess with the permanent scowl on her face. You gotta love the banter between some of the characters, it's priceless (well, more groan-inducing). Especially the scenes with Nick's buddy Bela (Callie).

If it's car stunts and blow-ups you seek, look no further. This movie exemplifies the PM credo that multiple, gigantic explosions and cars flying and flipping every which way need not make sense or have any justification - it's just awesome to watch and can be highly entertaining, if in a pretty dumb way. But these stunts took a lot of work and effort to pull off, and we recognize and respect that. These are REAL stunts, not CGI garbage. We wholly support the true stunt/pyrotechnic masterminds behind Executive Target.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

If car chases are your cup of tea then step right up!

Author: HaemovoreRex from United Kingdom
22 September 2009

Michael Madsen apparently sleep walks his way through this undemanding but nonetheless fun entry from the ever reliable guys at (the much sadly missed!) PM Entertainment.

Madsen plays a stunt car driver who is sprung from a prison bus by a shady government organisation who have hatched a dastardly plan to kidnap the president of the United States and are planning to utilise our hero's amazing driving adroitness in a daring bid to abscond with him. Well, if insane car chases are your cup of tea, then you'll love this for sure. Cars flip, spin, screech, explode and perform all manner of hair raising feats in this adrenaline pounding ride. Unfortunately, it has to be said that there is very little substance other than the aforementioned so if you are requisite of character development, a more abstruse plot and good performances then it would probably be wise to look elsewhere.

Whilst certainly not one of my personal favourites from PM's extensive catalogue, this is nonetheless worth a look for fans of automobile chaos and awesome GENUINE (as opposed to lazy CGI crap!) stuntwork.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Good car chases can't make up for the lousy premise

Author: Craig Porter ( from Australia
15 August 1999

My Age: 13

Nick, an imprisoned stunt car driver, played by Michael Madsden, is riding on a prison bus when some guys turn up to bust him out. He doesn't know these people and tries to get away from them, but they kidnap his wife to force him to drive the getaway car when they kidnap the President of the United States to sell him for a great deal of money.

This film has quite a few good car chases, but they deserve a better plot and a better movie. The plot of this film is preposterous and ludicrous, most of the action (in the form of the car chases) is quite good, but the ending climax is both unrealistic and below par. Michael Madsden, who I feel is one of the more underrated actors, puts in his normal good performance, but why is Roy Scheider in this film? I think he looks a bit out of place as the President.

Australian Classification: MA 15+: Medium Level Violence, Medium Level Coarse Language

Rating: 42 out of 100

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Lots of boom but sadly no bang for your buck

Author: Ed-Shullivan from Canada
12 March 2015

The film is basically one extended car chase scene after another with a silly plot which I don't have any objections to. It's just that the film director Joseph Merhi appears to have taken his film's plot too seriously which is to kidnap the United States President played by Roy Scheider and utilizing Nick's stunt driving talents to drive the getaway car. Michael Madsen plays Nick James a stunt car driver by trade and a current California state prisoner who is busted out of prison so that a more evil criminal named Lamar played by Keith David can make use of his talents from his underground cave headquarters classified as Area 55.

Now Nick James would have preferred to complete his one year sentence in prison but when Lamar holds Nick's estranged wife Nadia played by Kathy Christopherson as his prisoner in his underground headquarters named Area 55 to ensure Nick does as he is told then Nick is left with few alternatives but to drive the getaway cars through the city of California with a couple of dozen police cars in hot pursuit, one crime at a time.

Lamar has two henchmen who keep Nick company and under control who are named Ray played by Joe Hart and Lacey played by the red headed model Angie Everhart. I appreciate that an actor can only perform as well as the lines provided to them so don't expect any quality acting from Ray or Lacey. Madsen's performance was done well for the material he was provided to work with.

Nick (Michael Madsen) ends up being the hero and the good news for the audience is that the movie ends at the 92 minute mark. Now lets see ...travelling at a rate of speed (on average) of 150 miles per hour that equates to approximately 228 miles of distance this films car chase scenes have travelled across the state of California. During the 92 minutes that the film elapsed I travelled to the fridge three times and enjoyed my snacks and drinks more than Executive Target. If you enjoy endless car chases and cars, trucks and buses that go boom then this film is for you. As for me this film went bust, as did my belly after my third trip to the fridge since this movie was not as captivating as I had hoped. I rate it a 3 out of 10.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Bombasticly stupid.

Author: Nateofborg from United States
18 January 2006

You always see these stupid movies with idiotic plots but wonderful production value. What's the deal? Executive Target is on par with any shoot em up action flick Hollywood has released and if that's all you care about then please check out this one, you'll love it. Yet with all the great stunts and sets and even a fairly adept cast, this script must have been written by some guy while taking a bath. From the outlandish set up to the ending that resembles a James Bond film, scratch that, Austin Powers flick, it's just 90 minuets of stupid.

How's this for an idea. The producer who makes these flicks and has all these guns and tanks and helicopters laying around should host the next project green light. Find some fresh out of high school action fanatic who has a great idea and let them just run amok. While I do enjoy its simplicity, imagine what Reservior Dogs would have looked like if Tarentino had all this fun stuff to play with on his first film? What a waste.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A laughable treatise

Author: Mr. Devo from Bethesda, MD
27 March 1999

This film's primary objective seems to be to test the viewer on how good they are at suspending their disbelief. Surprisingly, money WAS spent on this film, and there are enough car chase sequences to make even William Friedkin happy, but every time a car hits another car, it explodes immediately. Every time. Also, I got a hoot out of the closing sequence, where two helicopters are shot down, and then two different (read: cheaper) helicopters are shown on fire, hitting the ground. Different colors and everything.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Reasonable, nice for Everhart/Madsen fans.

Author: Marco van de Voort from Eindhoven, Netherlands
29 December 1998

The movie as a whole is hardly average, but I like Everhart's ice-womanish play, and Michael Madsen is always a good actor to see

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Kidnapping The President: For Dummies

Author: Adam (VonCouch) from Maryland, USA
13 February 2005

Just the premise of this film sounds horrible. An ex-Hollywood stunt driver, arrested on a minor crime, is broken out of prison and forced to drive the getaway car for a plot to kidnap the President of the United States. Would probably make a fun video game. As a film? Well...

This movie is kind of like a magic show. It's point is to distract you and make you think that something it happening. You sit there thinking "Wow, this movie sucks...Cool, a car blew up!" And they use every car chase cliché in the book. Cars bunny-hopping inexplicably. Driving through boxes of fruit while people jump out of the way. They even have a woman pushing a freaking baby carriage. I yank you not, a freaking baby carriage! There's a line a character mutters after a huge explosion: "Now tell me that doesn't give you a hard on". Somewhere, Jerry Bruckheimer is stroking himself in agreement. I'd bet all that I own that with a little bit of a reworked plot, a bigger budget and a few A-List stars, this would be a total Bruckheimer flick.

As I said before, the story is dull and predictable. The acting is wooden and hard to swallow. Even Madsen, whom I rented this solely on the fact that he's on the cover holding a gun, feels like he's going through the motions and just looks bored with the entire thing. But it does have shut-your-brain-off boom-booms, and they are done fairly well. Even if it does take only a half dozen people, a couple of which are untrained in any sort of combat, to take down an entire evil military base. If it's ever on late at night and the batteries on the remote are dead, I'd probably watch it again. So if you get a chance to see it for free and you honest to God have nothing better to do, it beats the hell out of some films I've seen.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Rating 5/10, lots of boom but nothing else

Author: SadBunny
17 July 2002

This flick was kind of stupid. Bottom line: bad guys try to kidnap an arrested stunt driver from an armored transport truck. They fail but kidnap his wife, which they use to blackmail the stunt driver into robbing a bank for them, and later kidnapping the USA president. Lots of dead good guys and 1.5 lines of plot further, all bad guys are killed, and the president is saved. How that is accomplished you have to see, but that it is accomplished you know all the time.

In spite of the 100% It kept me watching intensely though, because of the abundance of action. Never had this movie any moment of peace, except for the talks with the president, which made the president look way to cool. Maybe it's because I'm Dutch, but I just don't buy any USA president (except for Clinton) being that cool and relaxed :-)

Rating 5/10 because it was good enough to watch but still lots of irritating lacks. Like: it had no extras whatsoever, like sound effects of police voices during chases, nice lighting touches, loose particles in the sky flying around during explosions, you know? All those little details that make you sink just a little bit deeper in the movie. I felt like I was watching a movie with action and a bad plot, not like I was watching the real thing with a bad plot like in good action flicks.

To go short: just below average in it's genre.

Peace to all


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