Michael Dixon is a seasoned agent working linewatch on the US/Mexico Border. Well respected by his peers at US Border Patrol, and well loved by his family (wife Angela and 5 year old ... See full summary »
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Stephen Campbell Moore
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Michael Dixon is a seasoned agent working linewatch on the US/Mexico Border. Well respected by his peers at US Border Patrol, and well loved by his family (wife Angela and 5 year old daughter Emily), Michael's world is suddenly threatened by secrets from his past. Michael was not always the respectable family man he now has become - he was a vicious Los Angeles gang member who turned his back on the gang and his own brutal ways. But no one can quit the gang, so when a chance encounter leads the gang to Michael in New Mexico, Michael is forced to find a way to protect his family, even if it means helping the psychotic gang leader Drake smuggle a truckload of drugs across the border. Written by
It's a shame that some movies never get to the theaters. Lately, Cuba Gooding Jr. has been doing a lot of those movies, and though I haven't seen them all, I rent one from time to time: I think the man's a great actor. In Kevin Bray's "Linewatch", he gives a stand-out performance as Mike Dixon, a police officer who works for the border patrol and is suddenly haunted by the past. The actor is so subtle here, so committed to the role that we can't help desiring something better for him.
Movies like this one are not sold properly for the audience. "On the border between the US and Mexico, the law is what you make it", reads the tagline of "Linewatch". It's logical that you would expect a bad film with something like that on its cover. Sadly, sometimes the truth is different, like in this case. The border is just scenery in this movie, a nice place to shoot and develop some plot lines of David W. Wardfield's screenplay.
The script is about absolutely everything else, and though it doesn't develop its characters fully, it leaves a good taste in your mouth, and you feel you've watched something worthy of your time. The key however is in the casting, because when you have a slow film like this one with just a few action scenes, you need good actors to spend the rest of the time with. Sharon Leal is warm and caring as Dixon's wife and the girl who plays their daughter is especially good. The gangsters that come to bother Dixon and bring the past back with them all achieve good performances. Each of them is allowed to stand out from time to time, but they are at their best, natural and relaxed, when doing small talk as they guard Dixon's family.
Two of them are probably the most important in terms of the story though: Kimo (Omari Hardwick) and Little Boy (Evan Ross). I haven't told you the hold story yet, partly because I want you to go and rent this picture (the only way to see it), and partly because the movie doesn't tell it either I'll leave that for you to discover, saying only that it's a well developed plot for the genre that even leaves room for some small surprises.
Kevin Bray does everything right and never poses for something that his movie isn't. He knows how to create true tension and achieves it in two crucial moments that don't include fast-paced action, helped by Jeff Mcllwain's exciting score (which, by the way, also works perfectly in the action sequences).
The action is not the main attraction in "Linewatch" as it would be in, for example, "Taken". However, the fact that the leader of a gang bang doesn't completely look and act like we would assume a gangster would and some phrases that could be suppressed make this look like a B-movie. But then, "Taken" was also a B-movie (in the best sense and with the best production); and a good one. Maybe "Linewatch" is even better; a bit more humane Realer.
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