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I just watched Alpha Alert (or Event 15 as some may call it) and I was
VERY pleasantly surprised. I truly expected a military cliché movie
from start to finish and to be honest, the only reason why I watched it
was because of Jennifer Morrison. Loved her work on House and Once Upon
A Time and thought "Hey, she is easy on the eyes so it cannot be too
bad right?" I am glad I watched this hidden gem! The story is pretty
straightforward at the beginning: It shows the comments in individual
therapy sessions of 3 soldiers. As they leave the therapy facility in
an elevator, something happens to make the elevator get stuck. Panic
sets in as crazy events happen next as the soldiers try to get out of
the elevator to help the situation. Truly to tell anymore I am afraid I
will give something away. All I can say is this: KEEP WATCHING! There
will be a major WTF moment followed by several more smaller ones after.
The movie really picks up after about 20-25 minutes.
Two standouts in this movie for sure. Jennifer Morrison as Cpt. White is spot-on and solid (and still easy on the eyes). She plays the lead and carries it well in this movie. Josh Stewart as Oldsmand was BRILLIANT casting and for those of you who like The Collector & The Collection, he once again shows us and Hollywood why people take notice of his acting skills.
I gave this a 7 and I am SHOCKED the rating is so low. I know some people have "complained" about the authenticity of the military actions/sequences/protocol. IT IS A MOVIE! IT IS FICTION! It is not like they went and made the people wear purple and sing in Russian. Don't let that run you away from this movie.
If you are someone who needs everything to fit nice and neat and have no holes at all in a movie, this may not be for you. However, if you are someone who likes good acting, and want a movie that throws a curve-ball at you while entertaining you, I HIGHLY recommend this one.
by messed up, i mean its great, its got everything that a movie like this should have. not knowing what the hell is going on until the right time. and also three great actors that know what there doing. Jennifer Morrison was amazing i've only seen her in once upon a time. but in this movie she really shows off a side of herself i didn't know she could play. people are giving this movie a bad rating. but don't listen to them watch the movie yourself and then you decide. and don't go (falling asleep in the first 10 minutes cause it seems boring) believe me ...it does pick up and it picks up very well. give this movie a chance because i'm glad i did
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For the first half or so of "Alpha Alert", I was only mildly interested
in the film. Fortunately, the second half, while seemingly wildly
paranoid, is very exciting and must be based, to some degree, on
studies the government did on soldiers in the 1950s and 60s.
The film is set at some sort of VA-type clinic where three soldiers are all receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. On their way out of the building, the three enter an elevator together but the elevator stops soon after they hear what sounds like an explosion. Slowly, the begin to learn what seems to be happeninga dirty bombs have been unleashed on the Washington, DC area and the city is in panic. While Captain White becomes increasingly angry at not receiving help, oddly, Private Oldsman becomes surly, disrespectful and increasingly psychotic. Fortunately, Private Diego is there to prevent Oldsman from doing any violence towards the female Captainas Oldsman seems to hate women in authority. At this point, it's all just a tense waiting game until help can arrive. However, as time passes, they learn more about the atomic fallout from the bomb and it looks like help might not be coming after all! At this point, Oldsman has become even more imbalancedand almost anything can push him over the edge. Soon, the lights go out temporarilyand when the lights return, Diego is dead and it looks like White is next! Can she avoid becoming the next victim? And what about the dirty bombswill there be more and what damage did they already do? I could easily say a lot more about the plot but it would ruin the film. The bottom line is that there is far more to this story than I have already told youand that 'far more' is what makes the film so interesting.
The main strength of this film is the acting. Although I've seen none of these actors in other projects, they did great work. Likewise, the director, Matthew Thompson, did some fine work eliciting these performances and creating LOTS of tensionbut he's someone whose work I haven't seen before, though I suspect with films like Alpha Alert, I will.
As far as weaknesses go, the film does use several clichés. The worst is what they do to the black man in the film. While I am FAR from politically correct and don't get offended easily, it was a cheap shot to take the main black character and have him be the victim. Chef on South Park commented on this clichéand I sure could see it here! I would love to have seen him either be the hero officer or the psychotic killerthese would have been thinking outside the formulaic box. Additionally, some (not me) might blanch at the film's very paranoid messagethough I found myself very willing to believe what was happening up to the end of the film.
So is this a film for you? I doubt if the average person would think to watch the film but I do think most people would enjoy it. It's a bit too tense and violent for younger audiences. The ones I'd really love to hear from are military and ex-military viewers. What would they think about the film and the twisted ending? I'd love to say more. My suggestion is that you see the film and then think about all this. It's well worth seeing and original even with its minor problems.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What comes from blindly following orders? That is the main thread that everything in this movie is semi loosely tied around. Jennifer Morrison is tightly wound, and thrown into a closed space with Stephen Rider, and Josh Stewart while all around them chaos is raging. This is a pretty blaze movie over all, the acting is mostly of the straight to cam video chat stuff, and here, and there a lot of things that make no sense, but that have been allowed to pass which is the fault of the direction, and production staff. If a "rope" that should be a cable is coated in grease, shouldn't that transfer to the clothing? how does one know where to stab the knife to get a small foot on a larger trap door in one try? Why does the lieutenant get to leave? That felt rushed, and hollow like they skipped over something. Sorry those are just my points that I could not get past, so over all I really did not Enjoy this movie. I would only recommend it as a Sunday afternoon bit of filler, and even then you can do better. The acting from all of the characters is the only thing that saves it at all.
Claustrophobic comes to mind, but if you can get past this then its an
interesting plot. It made me think after, as we never know what goes on
in the background of governments, MOD and .....
If your in the mood for a fantasy film then you watch one, if your in the mood for science fiction you watch one.
This is feasible and will have suggesting to yourself, do that and do this. This is no action packed drama, but it gets you thinking.
Maybe we will have some more respect for soldiers from any country that suffer from Post-traumatic stress disorder.
What we see now was ignored a lot in WW1 and even WW2, solders were shot!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Anti-American flick with nonsensical portrayal of soldiers, even
considering they are supposed to be suffering from PTSD.
I was hoping Captain White would die in this movie. She was a traitor and she should have died spitting in the eye of her captors. When she denounced our country I wanted to execute her myself. Being a mother is no excuse. Her kids would have been cared for. If that is how she felt, then she shouldn't have served.
She was the only character with no redeeming qualities. Diego defended his superior officer and cared for his wounded friend. Although Oldsman lost his head due to the drugs, he followed orders and was a good private. Blondie was simply weak and she disgraced herself again, betraying her country a second time in the conclusion of the film. Ugh. She should head to Russia with her commie kids and go marry Edward Snowden.
How did she become a captain? She demonstrated no leadership ability at all and she only cared about herself and her daughter. Oh yeah, and her meds. She was responsible for Diego's death. She should have seen how unstable Oldsman was - we certainly did - and subdued and disarmed him with Diego's help before things escalated.
Aside from all that, letting go of the fact that the movie had no hero, the plot was tired and clichéd, the actions of the characters were unrealistic, the dialog was severely lacking and the film was so predictable I almost fell asleep.
At one point she asks Oldsman for a screwdriver...."or shut up," she says, and then in a subsequent scene, she pulls one out of her pocket. Maybe it was on the elevator roof, but it sure looked like she got it from her pocket or pack.
When she was on the elevator roof, why didn't she at least try to open the air vent that was right in front of her? It appeared to be large enough for a person....and she did have that handy screwdriver to open the grate.
What was with the huge pipe wrench? I think that really was found on the elevator roof, but I cant imagine what use it would have in elevator repair. Maybe there are some pipes involved up at the motor, but left lying around on the top of the elevator?
This entire experiment was supervised by only one doctor and one weak-willed lieutenant. No security, no armed guards, no other personnel at all. How did this lieutenant get picked for this assignment? You got me.
And of course, all office doors are left open and top-secret files regarding this controversial, experimental drug are left in plain view.
Oh, and how did they monitor each soldier's heart rates and vitals? They weren't wearing any sensors. If it was some advanced technology, sensing them through the elevator walls, then how did it so clearly distinguish each individual's readings when they were all moving around each other in close quarters and when Cap'n White was on the roof?
I loved it when the doctor unleashed "Event 15" releasing the elevator brakes. He struggles with the decision (while we wait in excruciating boredom) and then, when he finally enters the final "Yes" command, the elevator does not fall! No, we get to see a ten second countdown before the brakes release. I'm sure there was some valid reason for that in the elevator control system programming, but I can't seem to think of it right now.
The climax was even more ridiculous. We are supposed to believe she climbed up a greasy elevator cable to a height of maybe 50-100 ft and then grabbed the edge of what looked like a 2x4 glued to the inside of the shaft just before the elevator plummeted to the ground. She somehow managed to reach that 2x4 while dangling from the cable in the very center of the shaft. Then, holding on by her oily fingertips, she scales a flat wall, defying all known laws of physics, pulling herself 3-4 feet higher to the elevator door ledge. With her hands on the flat ledge she gets her feet on the 2x4 and manages to hold the flat ledge with one hand and pull open the double elevator door with the other. Wow. No really. Wow. I say, "Approve that damn drug and get it to the front lines now!" It turns people into superheroes with strong fingers. I bet she didn't even break a nail!
And by the way... The 2x4 was on the elevator door side of the shaft and there had to be a space for it between the elevator and that wall or the elevator would not be able to move past it. This means that when exiting the elevator, there would be a gap the thickness of that 2x4 where you step out. How does that work? It was quite funny seeing the 2x4 thing just stuck there. It served no purpose at all other than to provide her with a hand-hold.
I can suspend disbelief on a lot of things if a movie is entertaining, has a decent story or good character development, but none of that is present here.
This is a film made by people with no respect for the brave men and women who put their lives on the line everyday, defending innocent women, children and freedom loving people around the world from those who oppose human rights and freedom.
I support a person's right to express his or her beliefs in a film, but at least put some effort into it. Who knows? You might convince some people. The goal here was to get the message across with out doing any work or providing a compelling story. Might as well have just made a speech bashing the USA. That's become quite fashionable these days, you know.
I rarely comment on the movies......I turned this movie off ten minutes into the movie.......I myself am a veteran, and I am constantly amazed at how many film makers go about making military movies, only to screw up on the simplest things. There are three people (soldiers) in an elevator, and their uniforms are beyond messed up. Two of them have the ranks upside down, and the third probably would as well, however, it is the same right side up or upside down. Tags on their uniform are showing when any soldier would have them tucked in. Unit patches are completely wrong for the location. Not one of those three soldiers has a deployment patch........where the hell have they been for the last decade? However, the woman keeps having flashbacks from wartime and still she does not have a deployment patch. It just blows my mind that they will spend millions on making a movie, but not hire any common soldier as a consultant, that easily would have remedied any of the problems that I mentioned.
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