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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:


Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
17 April 2005

The fifth "The Hire" movie is an impressive little short. It's impressive because of the story, that is helped by its gritty atmosphere.

The atmosphere is wonderful and typically Mexican style like. It really reminded me of "Man on Fire". It's gritty and sets the perfect mood for the story. The great cinematography is from 2 times Academy Award winner Robert Richardson and the music is from the talented composer Harry Gregson-Williams.

The movie and its story know to impress and it has some wonderful dialog, altogether with a powerful ending is what makes this movie a bit of a must see.


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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Simply Breathtaking

Author: le_wizardo from Egypt
13 April 2004

This short film occurs in January 13, 2001, where a Times war photographer -Harvey Jacobs (Stellan Skarsgård)- is wounded while witnessing a massacre at Nuevo Colon by terrorists. In a desperate effort, the United Nations sends a vehicle to get him out, a BMW driven by Clive Owen.

This film, in comparison to any other film of the Hire series is possibly the best. The mark of Alejandro González Iñárritu is without contest the deepest one I've seen to date. It can't be denied that every second of the films matters in one way or another, either it is the feel of the environment, characters or even the state of mind. But since I'm a fan of his work I think I might be a little biased.

The real hero of the film is actually the photographer's mother (Lois Smith) who really made a spectacular performance. I've seen the film about five times and I am still touched by her performance. Great Film 9/10

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:


Author: Adam Meltzer (
30 July 2001

While all of the other 4 films in the "Hire" series are fine examples of short film-making, they were pretty much nothing more than Clive Owen's fancy driving of the BMW vehicles with a slight back-story thrown in.

This film was from start to finish a stunning, and powerful story. Gripping, gritty cinematography with fine acting. This time the car was the back-story - not the focal point.

A wonderful conclusion to the series, and a must view. It's free and available on right now, so what are you waiting for?

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

What a trailer! Movie short and sweet

Author: Scott S. from Sacramento, CA
23 July 2001

Powder Keg has been promoted heavily on cable. The trailer for the very short film is excellent. The irony of the format of the very short film is that the trailer runs for about 1/10 the time of the whole film!

More is left out of the film than is in it. We are shown the short tale of a photojournalist who escapes from a horrific massacre; we aren't shown how he does it. We don't know what war this is, it is a stand-in for all of those nameless skirmishes in Latin America.

Clive Owen of the PBS Mystery series Second Sight stars as the 'Driver'. We don't know anything about him as well.

It's really difficult to make an effective short film, but director Alejandro Inarritu does a very good job. Yes, we've seen the plot before (though not so truncated), but the cinematography is grainy, jerky, and alive. You get a sense of the menace and desperation of the people of this unnamed place in fast glances out the window of the, yes, BMW.


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

powerful reflection

Author: ( from new york, ny.
20 July 2001

Eliminate the country, the brutal government, most real names, and what you have is a look into the inner sole of what it is to be human. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu does a masterful job with this piece based on a massacre of people and shooting of a war photographer. These BMW Films have all been exceptional. This is true art... when your friends complain about Hollywood, tell them they are not looking hard enough.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Powerful short film, if you can get over the fact it's a commercial.

Author: H T (heather-92) from Boston, MA
20 July 2001

As part of the BMWFilms series, Powder Keg is one of several great short films commissioned by the car company. Inarritu is a fantastic director, and his genius shows through this gripping, action-packed car chase. What sets Inarritu's film apart from some of the other BMWfilms is the gritty detail, the harsh realism of what is being portrayed. The violence is not glamorized, nor the main character's plight as a photojournalist romanticized.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Among the best of the The Hire commercials

Author: abgkasjlkasjla from Denmark
3 December 2004

What makes this commercial really stick out from the others is the filming style, which seemed documentary-like. While I found this style a little annoying at first, I ended up actually enjoying it and liking the commercial for being different without being bad(like the one Ang Lee misdirected). The cinematography is very good, and gives us some great intense sequences. The acting is great, both by Clive Owen and Stellan Skarsgård. Owen must have gotten very much used to his character of The Driver by this point, so it's interesting to see him in a more emotional take on the character. Skarsgård is very good as the war photographer, and his final speech, though going very close to crossing over into being cliché, manages to work perfectly and arouse actual emotions in the viewer, rather than just being sappy, manipulative drivel(which this sort of thing almost always is). The action(the little there is) is great and the amount is just right. It's obvious that this was more about story and characters than action and thrills, and director Alejandro González Iñárritu pulls it off perfectly. It's rare to see something so short that manages to hold your interest without a lot of action and whilst managing to tell a story so beautifully and emotionally. While I prefer Ambush over this one, I think it's a great commercial. I recommend this to fans of the commercials and of this type of stories. 8/10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Very good

Author: rbverhoef ( from The Hague, Netherlands
24 May 2003

This short from The Hire-series looks totally different than the other ones. It is more real, like news footage. The Driver, of course again played by Clive Owen, has to save a war photographer (Stellan Skarsgard) who is shot. No funny moments this time, but action and suspense. Very well done.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

really, really good conclusion to BMW's series

Author: joelman
15 March 2002

Perhaps there are people who would disdain the grainy look of this film, or hate the jumpy camera work. I, for one, think that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is a genius. You really have to appreciate his film making. Amores Perros is a must see for those of you who haven't seen it yet, and Powder Keg is no exception either. This film focuses much more on emotions and injustices in Central and South America, and really lays the drama on in the end. Brilliant work. I'm glad that BMW did this series, perhaps they will see fit to release it on DVD, that would be excellent.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

what a powerful short film, completely unexpected and great

Author: girl4film from Connecticut
25 September 2001

I was very surprised after watching the other films from the BMWs films "The Hire", because although all were clever and entertaining, none had the emotional power of this one. Guy Richie's was great but in a humorous way, and more as an homage to BMW's cars.... Powder Keg was about as deep and attaching and emotional and real as you can get in a 7 min film.

Shot in a documentary style way in 16mm, it's a great look at the genius of an upcoming director. 8-1/2 /10

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