Based on a true story, this film tells the tale of the 1950 US soccer team who, against all odds, beat England 1 - 0 in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Although no US team has ever won a World Cup title, this story is about the family traditions and passions which shaped the lives of the players who made up this team of underdogs.
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In Chicago, Neil Randall - family man and executive of an advertisement agency - has a perfect life. He expects to be promoted in his job soon, he has a beautiful and sexy wife, Abby, a lovely daughter, Sophie, and he lives in a wonderful house. When Neil's boss, Karl Granger, invites him to spend the weekend in his country cottage, Abby hires a nanny for Sophie, so Abby can spend the day with her sister, Diane. While driving Abby to meet Diane, a stranger who was hidden on the backseat appears with a gun, and informs them that he has kidnapped Sophie. He introduces himself as Ryan, and states that for twenty-four hours the couple will obey his orders, otherwise he will kill Sophie. By keeping the couple under his total control, he makes it clear that he is a calculating sociopath with nothing to lose, and the intention of destroying Neil's perfect life. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The producers of BUTTERFLY ON A WHEEL (a/k/a SHATTERED in U.S.), didn't have enough faith in their project to seek widespread theatrical distribution of the finished film--even though it had GERARD BUTLER fresh from his box-office triumph in "300". Instead, they went a more direct route--directly to TV on TNT, which seems more like a last resort. Once again, a Gerard Butler film with limited distribution even though co-starred with PIERCE BROSNAN and MARIA BELLO.
Seeing it on TNT, it's understandable that the film had some problems in connecting with a larger audience. Brosnan's villain is below par for the actor and Butler has done better work elsewhere although he gives all his energy to the role of a distraught husband.
The plot is an elaborate cat-and-mouse game that Brosnan plays with the unlucky couple, Butler and Bello. While it does generate a certain amount of suspense, Brosnan's character remains an enigma for almost the whole story. Never once do we get a hint of why he's going to such extremes to torture the couple by demanding that they perform tasks at his bidding. A grungy looking Brosnan makes the villain a very unappetizing psychotic and we're never quite sure about Butler either, an ad agency man who gradually loses his swaggering overconfident manner.
Without giving away more of the plot (except to say that there is a mildly interesting twist toward the end followed by a double twist), the whole thing plays more like a made-for-TV movie than an actual film because none of the characters are more than one-dimensional despite the good acting. And the final scene between Butler and Bello is totally unbelievable as to motivation.
Summing up: Basically tricky and shallow at the core.
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