When the red phone rings, the AT 2000 goes into action. Covertly created and financed by an international consortium of governments and wide-ranging private interests, AT 2000 represents ...
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When the red phone rings, the AT 2000 goes into action. Covertly created and financed by an international consortium of governments and wide-ranging private interests, AT 2000 represents the last line of defense against worldwide terrorism. A secured hi-tech computer line, the red phone accesses only terrorist activity already investigated and verified by - but beyond the grasp of - any one of a number of international police, special security, and military agencies, so its urgent signal raises the alarm on a clear and present danger - an explosive situation that only AT 2000 can defuse. Headed by Quentin Forbes, the group is assembled from special units throughout the entire commonwealth of nations - the men and woman of AT 2000 are the very best in their respective specialities. But they are also renegades, marching to a different drumbeat of justice, one above and beyond the call of "regular duty". Forming what is, essentially, the first truly international police force, they ... Written by
First part of two movie pilots (the other being Red Phone 2 (2003)) made for the European TV market, where they failed to sell. Both TV movies were repackaged for the direct-to-video market. See more »
A sad, tired little TV pilot produced in Austria or Germany for the European TV market, where it failed to sell. Then repackaged for the direct-to-video market, but apparently only in obscure markets like Greece and Israel.
Very misleadingly, Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy, The Mummy II) is featured prominently on the packaging as if he is the star. This will surely disappoint any of his fans -- he is a minor character with minimal screen time and hardly any dialog. The film predominantly stars Joe Penny as the anti-terrorist hero and Michael Wincott as the villain.
Production values and special effects are far below standard, even for a TV show, so this has a dated look to it. It doesn't help that world events have made the idea of a DUTCH terrorist rather silly. Prior to 9/11, I noticed a lot of films dealing with terrorism fell all over themselves with political correctness to portray terrorists as "international", European or American and white. This seems completely absurd nowadays. Besides, as shown in the film, these are really not terrorists...they have no ideology or political/religious aims, they are simply highly paid mercenaries who create mayhem on demand. Needless to say, they are not very scary.
The terror set-piece involves a truck, filled with C-4 explosives and when it is detonated, the explosion in on the level of a gas tank going up in flames. Rather anti-climatic! Another bit of silliness involves a polite, slow-speed motorcycle chase (on very small motorcycles by US standards, almost mopeds), where the two antagonists wear HELMETS! and drive at the speed limit...until the end, when they go over a small sand dune and fall off together at exactly the same time.
I realize that actors have to eat, and in order to do so, they have to work and sometimes that means taking dreary projects like "The Red Phone" in order to survive. Still, it saddens me to see quality professionals like Michael Wincott (The Crow, Alien Resurrection, Along Came a Spider), Michael Ironsides, Joe Penny, Arnold Vosloo and Ben Cross reduced to this sort of low level junk. The only upside is that this will never been shown in the US, not even on cable, and very unlikely to ever even be sold at the video store (I watched a bootleg from a friend). The shame will only exist in small foreign markets...I guess that's a good thing.
Believe it or not, there was enough footage shot to provide another entire 90 minute film, called "The Red Phone - Checkmate". If you are a Michael Wincott fan, be aware that although his name is on the box of this second film, his character was killed off at the end of the first, so obviously he does not appear. Typical sloppiness! In conclusion: to be avoided for anyone but die hard fans of the above actors.
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