Ignition (2001) Poster

(2001)

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4/10
Routinish
jrgirones13 May 2002
Routinish, yet sometimes entertaining, action and suspense flick which worst sin is not taking itself seriously. It all becomes more and more implausible along the way and the script writer seems to realize it by adding some humor. No problem with that except the movie didn't start like a great joke and even seemed a nice variation on Ridley Scott's "Someone to watch over me", with an exciting subplot involving the U.S. army. Watch it just for fun and, of course, for the amazing Lena Olin.
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Better than I thought it would be
SALUDES3 December 2003
Ignition is not the best movie I've ever seen. On the other hand, it's not the worst movie I've ever seen either. The film's plot is at least plausible; particularly in today's atmosphere of terrorism and the military's ever growing power to `contain' it. One can imagine a rouge military officer or two taking matters into their own hands so as to `do their duty'.

As for the acting in the film, again, not the best, but not the worst. Bill Pullman plays `Conner Gallagher' the rough around the edges body guard, and Lena Olin plays `Faith Mattis' the federal judge Gallagher is assigned to protect. Both Pullman and Olin turn in descent performances. As for the rest of the cast, well, the acting goes steadily down hill form there. As with any B-movie like Ignition, checking your sense of reality at the door helps one enjoy the movie. However with some B-flicks, no amount of imagination can make the movie watchable. Ignition is certainly at least one cut above that kind of movie. And, in fact, it might even be a bit better than that.

Over all, if you don't have anything better to do, watch it. You might like it.
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8/10
Definitely worth watching!
trodgers-327 July 2002
I expected a B grade movie - but this was MUCH better than B grade.

Well directed, produced and acted and INTELLIGENT (a rare commodity these days).

It's not the best movie I've ever seen, but it's a better quality movie than most of the so-called "block-busters" I've seen recently...
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7/10
Much better than I excpected
swordfish-128 April 2002
Truly said when I rent this movie I expected a true disaster. I don't even know why I rented it. But I must say I was quite impressed with it. It had a bit of humor and it was also a good thrill. There are a lot of better movies but this one is also worth of watching. Rent it cause it's pretty damn good.
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5/10
Ignition fizzles! - SPOILERS
George Parker23 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Deep corruption in the federal government, an evil powerful official with a conspiracy to assassinate the President, and one man (Pullman) who can save the day while saving his love interest (Olin) and wading through a sea of armed assassins and a convoluted web of intrigue. Sound familiar?? Well, that's "Ignition"; a recycled B-flick contrivance and a journeyman production with just enough action and busy-ness to make it over the bar. Raggedy around the edges with some fire fights and pyro, this budget conscious flick offers marginal human drama, a weak romantic thread, no airborne vehicles, intense stunts, sex, martial arts, or other titillators. Mediocre stuff for Pullman fans and couch potatoes eager for some no-brainer action. (C)
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Standard video thriller without anything special to recommend it
bob the moo27 December 2005
Despite being fired for drug use and violent conduct, Conor Gallagher returns as a US Marshall to protect lawyer Faith Mattis when her life is threatened as part of some sort of bombing campaign against certain high-profile people. At first Gallagher tires of Mattis' attitude and accepts her threat of having him reassigned. But when he saves her life from an attack, he is kept on and finds himself rescuing her from a solider that has gone awol and thinks someone is trying to kill him. Starting to put the pieces together with her though, brings both of them into danger from powers that are more than just criminal.

The presence of Bill Pullman made me overlook the Monday night slot on channel 5 – usually a dumping ground for direct-to-video action movies with no names and no real value. When the film opens with a nicely washed out scene, I also ignored the clichés of the shoot-out and the predictable route it takes. However the next scene is 9 months later and Gallagher is "washed-up™" but brought back into the fold and it was here that I realised this was only going one way. The film keeps the actual "plot" at bay for the majority of the running time and instead just keeps producing narrow misses and bangs along with some vague attempts at characterisation. When the true plot actually comes out, it is pretty poor and unconvincing – with the ideas being as realistic as the shuttle backdrop.

The bangs are just wheeled out with little realism and they didn't engage me at all, while the characters aren't anything interesting or different. The film's mood swings around as well – at times it wants to be serious but other times we have joking in the face of danger; the swings don't fit together that well and gives the film an unsure feel. The cast are caught up in this and it shows. Pullman tries to do something serious with the role but also ends up being a clichéd quipping action star; he never fitted into the genre and I couldn't shake the feeling that he is really better than this. Olin also seems ill at ease in it and comes across like she is trying to do something with nothing (and achieving nothing). Feore is a "rent-a-baddie" here and adds little value, while Kent and Harris are just henchmen to be knocked off after a bit of stand-offing. Lea and Ironside are familiar faces but add nothing more than that.

Overall this is an average thriller at best. All the clichés are there and are delivered without imagination or effort by a cast who mostly deserve to be in better stuff than this. No better or worse than a lot of the video thrillers doing the rounds as television filler but that isn't any sort of recommendation.
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Worth the Watch!
kim_carns15 March 2003
I just got a copy of Ignition and watched it without any disappointment, except for Nicholas Lea whom didn't get a huge role in the film other than playing the part a ex-husband. It definately had its heartwarming moments with scenes of a relation ship between father and daughter. I recommend this film to anyone who likes a little bit of everything in a movie. There wasn't too much violence, but the film was pretty realistic.
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8/10
Was that Bill Pullman or Michael Douglas?
auntiem162-111 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
What a shock this movie was. The lead actor looked a lot like a beefed up Bill Pullman, but he reminded me more of Michael Douglas. O.k., so I'm joking. I had to pinch myself, but I KNEW it was Pullman I'd been watching as a kick-a__ US Marshal...just never thought of him as an "action" actor, but listen up...HE DID FINE--HE DID GREAT! I just never saw him move so fast or act so tough and there wasn't a false note in it anywhere! And a nuanced performance to boot! Opening scene...he blasts the hell out of the bad guys and then a few scenes later shoots his washing machine....twice! I'd buy it just to see that again. This is an excellent B movie with way better than average acting and an intricate plot. Give it a try, you just might be pleasantly surprised. He played "nice" with Lena Olin, too!
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4/10
Watchable
mfsor1 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
That's the word, watchable, when it's not very good, full of flaws, stretches the suspension of disbelief by making you consciously do it rather than forgetting that you're doing it. The usual running a whole block faster than a speeding car, escaping the exhaust gases from a huge rocket, and a judge who would be kicked off the bench for doing half the things she does in the movie and wouldn't do them anyway. She acts more like a rebellious teenager than a person who is at the level of a federal appeals court deciding cases of great national interest. Bill Pullman is just too self-destructive to be interesting. His kid is great, and that tries to make up for it. How come I'm not a helicopter pilot? Everybody else is. Oh, well. I don't like it when they cheat on the fights, showing so little that a baby could out do a whole ninja battalion. I keep writing in the hope that I'll find something other than the daughter. I guess not. See, the basic flaw is that he wouldn't be as self-destructive as he is if he were as heroic as he is.
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4/10
Nice build up, ridiculous ending
arlev-17 November 2005
When all's said and done, the suspense build-up and chase has been done a thousand times over but it seems to work in this movie until the last twenty minutes when I have two gripes. First, the special effects ain't all that special - that's a real let down for a film that has some well shot action scenes prior and decent suspense. Second, the most implausible action finale (which I won't relate so i don't spoil it for anyone). Surely something more probable could have been thought of? Not to mention the contradictory threat which couldn't have occurred. For what began as a decent film, it was a real shame to be let down so badly at the end.
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Wet Powder, Powerful Powder
tedg20 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

This little disaster probably resulted from 9-11. I get the impression that the project was halted halfway through and was just shoved out in this form.

No great loss. But it does have two interesting elements.

The first is Lena Olin. I think she is one of the most interesting woman in film. Some talent, deep training, cinematic poise. I appreciate actors who understand levels. She does, but doesn't quite have the chops to pull them off, so you can see in her eyes the intent. It is an exotic seduction.

The second is this director who seems to be on the "artistic" edge of TeeVee production. He does a lot of adventurous things with the camera for no apparent reason, but then sometimes it clicks. For instance, the opening sequence is pretty thrilling in a Karwai manner: all black and white except for red architectural elements. No angle natural, no perspective right angled, no movement of humans in any way related to the position of the camera. Again, the same thing when one witness is caught and killed by the mean old Army guys.

I get the impression that this could have been worth watching for these two elements of style if the project had been funded enough for someone to wrestle this director's impulses into shape.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 4: Has some interesting elements.
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6/10
Bill Pullman as James Bond. What's not to love.
TimeForLime29 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This review contains ** SPOILERS **



Bill Pullman as James Bond! What's not to love? I give this film a "6" just for chutzpah.

The only thing missing was an evil man like Ernest Stavro Blofeld sitting in a big chair, stroking a cat.

For a refreshing change, Pullman is neither a loser at love nor a wacky genius. Instead, he is the standard issue law enforcement officer in disgrace. Busted down to U.S. Marshall (no disgrace in my book), he gets a baby-sitting job with a Federal judge.

It starts off like GUARDING TESS (1994) with Nicolas Cage and Shirley MacLaine. The guardee, a recent appointee to the bench played by Lena Olin, doesn't see a need for protection, and doesn't want Pullman around. But, conveniently, a car bomb near-miss endears him to her and now she is all in favor of his professional attentions.

It is at this point that we learn that the film will be faster paced than, but not as high in quality as, GUARDING TESS.

But soon, we find out it is not a "babysitting" film. It is a film about secrets, about military cover up. Will it be like THE PRESIDIO (1988) with Sean Connery and Meg Ryan; or more like THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER (1999) with John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe and James Cromwell? Well, you have to fork over to find out.

BUT WAIT. THERE'S MORE. After you have had your fill of incredible escapes, unbelievable revelations, reluctant patriotism, touching parenting, and the repeated overcoming of some of the world's nastiest criminals (our own armed forces) -- not to mention Annie Oakley marksmanship on the part of an untrained shooter -- you are then treated to still another kind of film FOR NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE.

This final transformation is what endeared this film to my heart: it turned into a Bond film. My lips are sealed but I will say that, for budget purposes, they skipped the usual downhill skiing scenes and the airboat races through the crowded harbor of Monaco. But you do get the rest of it.

I wish I could rate this an "8". If only there were separate scores for "fun" or "camp" ... ...
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5/10
It's not fair, but casting matters in a movie like this.
MBunge8 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This C-level action movie is overly ambitious, overly complicated and almost interesting. There are moments when it seems to be going beyond well worn clichés, but then you realize that's due to bad casting and poor writing. Ignition is fast paced, has a decent amount of action and throws in just enough gratuitous nudity and profanity to get an R rating. It's better than most low-budget flicks of this type, but features a lead actress who is not at all what the typical fan of this genre wants to look at.

Conor Gallagher (Bill Pullman) is a U.S. Marshal with a checkered past. He was addicted to pills, involved in a deadly shootout that left 3 other Marshals dead, lost his marriage and hasn't seen his daughter in a year and a half. Despite all that, as well as being the sort of maniac who shoots his washing machine when it acts up, he's assigned to guard federal judge Faith Mattis (Lena Olin) after an attempt on her life. What Conor and Faith quickly get caught up in is a military scandal with a renegade witness and U.S. Army death squads running all over the place. After Conor is framed for beating up a crack whore, he and the judge go on the run to get to the bottom of a mystery that improbably turns into an attempted coup and what technically has to be the biggest "running away while something explodes behind you" scene in movie history.

There's no other way to put this except to be blunt. The biggest problem with Ignition is that Lena Olin looks way too old to be playing this part in this sort of film. She can still be sexy, just not as the lead female in an action flick. Yes, it wouldn't have made any sense to cast some hot 28 year old as a federal judge. That doesn't really matter in a story that's already asking you to believe the President of the United States travels in a motorcade consisting of two motorcycle cops and a few stretch limos; that has a group of military officers discuss treason like white guys at a country club making jokes about Jews; and has not one, not two, but three "running away while something explodes behind you" scenes. Casting Olin here is like making Helen Mirren the love interest in a Steven Seagal movie.

Olin's inappropriateness for this material actually makes you think they're trying to do something different. It causes Faith's quarrelsome relationship with Conor to look like something more than the tired, old act where the two leads drive each other crazy until they fall in love. Then they do fall in love and you realize it was just the same tired, old stuff.

Ignition also appears to be going a different way when it lets Conor have an entirely reasonable reaction to the discovery of the secret military plot. He doesn't want to do anything about it. He wants to let somebody else handle it because he's more concerned about his own personal situation. But then he abandons that surprisingly non-heroic stance for no apparent reason and starts doing the same stuff as every other action movie hero.

This movie also has too many characters and too much plot that just kills time until Ignition is long enough to qualify as a legitimate feature film. It's nice for a while to watch an action flick that's a bit more involved, but when you end up with two separate reluctant witnesses to the military plot and a main villain, the main villain's chief henchman, the chief henchman's sub-henchman and a bunch of cannon fodder, in addition to ex-spouses for both lead characters, it goes a step too far. It's all a bunch of manufactured nonsense to compensate for not having enough real story to last for 90 minutes.

This movie is well acted and well directed enough to be entertaining, if you can get past the fact that the main sex object of this melodrama looks like she's a member of AARP.
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