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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
-- despite a fine lead performance by Meloni.
Which is too bad, really, because the cinematography is quite good (digital's getting closer to celluloid every year) and a few of the supporting roles are well-acted (Grenier's in particular).
But then there's the story. Oh mother of God the story...
It's something about a shady bank president, played by Bruce Willis, whose banks keep getting robbed in particularly brutal fashion. The trail leads the tough FBI agent in charge of the investigation (Meloni) to members of an elite special forces team and then -- wait for it - - to ANOTHER special forces team, both of which are tied in, somehow, with the kidnapping and murder of Willis's younger brother several years before.
A corrupt Ohio Senator and a missing-and-presumed dead ex-special forces op also figure in the (incomprehensible) proceedings.
I defy anyone to see this movie once and summarize the plot line. It's like the filmmakers tried to pack 4 hours worth of story into a 2- hour running time, and failed in the attempt.
All in all, a missed opportunity. I happen to love smart intense heist movies (such as HEAT, THE TOWN, THIEF, etc), but this wasn't one of them.
The Bad Half:
Unnecessarily over convoluted plot. And although at the end I understood who did what and why, there were still too many questions left. Too many loose ends. The last 10 minutes felt weird, as if the production was running out of money, so they tried to close all knots in a hurry.
Confined spaces, and generally low number of people on set, resulting in a more low-budget, B-grade feel.
Bruce Willis. His character lacks authenticity and feels artificial in any scene he's in. It seems like Bruce Willis didn't care too much for the role.
The Good Half:
Christopher Meloni, Adrian Grenier and Rico Simonini. Their character felt very real, and I could rely to any of them. Their character development was very good, so I clearly understood who each person is. Moreover, it seems that their script was well- written since what their said was mostly in-place (at least as the plot went on and not looking back in retrospective).
There are also several good camera movements which made nice additions.
The action was far from exceptional but in most cases it had a tight grip. One of the action scenes was actually very tense, with a good score.
I don't know whether to recommend this movie to anyone or not, but I certainly didn't feel it was a total waste of time.
It's one of those movies that Bruce Willis is "staring" in. His face is
all over the poster. Too bad he's not in the movie as much. He took a
paycheck for 2 weeks of work and 20mins of screen time.
I would think that having Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista, and Adrian Grenier in the movie would be enough to attract attention, but I guess it's not enough to get the movie in the theaters.
Meloni leads the cast as an FBI agent searching for some bank robbers that seem focus on steeling money from Bruce Willis, who owns the banks they been targeting.
Bautista and Grenier are on Meloni's team as they investigate a tangled web of corruption from the bank, local law enforcement and even the military.
It's a compelling thriller that keeps moving despite all the obstacles in Meloni's way.
If you were a fan of Meloni back when he was on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit than you'll love this movie.
Especially with the great Dave Bautista as his partner. It's mostly him talking but he gets to do a little action as well.
It was a good role for Adrian Grenier. He plays a rookie fed who's given a hard time by Bautista, but slowly shows them just how bad ass he really is.
The only problem with the story is that it is too complicated. In their attempt to be smart they just end up being confusing with a story with far too many sub sub stories that get all jumbled together.
Overall, however the movie works with some standout characters played by some well known actors that keep you focus.
Definitely a good watch.
I was a little nervous going into this movie after reading all the reviews (largely negative), but was pleasantly surprised. OK, there was some bad acting on Bruce Willis' part but other members of the cast; Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista et al made up for it. It was a great story with a good twist at the end. If you're a movie "sommelier" analyzing films for cinematography, acting etc... then you'll walk away with your nose in the air but if, like most people, you don't really care about the legs or the bouquet of your wine, you'll enjoy watching this. I don't normally bother writing reviews for movies but felt this movie was unfairly reviewed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first 5 minutes are the best in the whole movie. The bad guys look
great and the movie has a great look and initially there's a great
feeling of tension...
However, as the movie progresses, everything just seems to fall apart to the point where the last half of the movie is straight up terrible. As the ending unfolds, it becomes almost surreal how bad the script, direction, and acting all are.
Overall, Meloni's performance is slightly above average, not great, but acceptable....why you would cast him and immediately give your movie the feel of a high budget episode of Law and Order is odd to me, but whatever.
Bautista (who I loved in Guardians) falls flat, but that seems largely a fault of the script/directing.
*spoiler* Greenier (who I've liked in Entourage, Devil Wears Prada) just seems really weird throughout the movie. I guess he was trying to portray the double-sided nature of his character, but he doesn't pull it off. His acting feels really stiff and contains zero emotion. The result is that I had absolutely no feeling one way or the other about what happened to his character in the end.
Willis just sorta phones it in...not great, not bad. Just there.
Despite the average performances by the big stars, the biggest problems are the directing, supporting cast, and the editing/cinematography.
Casting is weird in that the better it is...the less you think about it because the actors don't feel like actors...they feel like they ARE the characters. However, bad casting stands out immediately, and that's what happens here. Pretty much everyone in a role directly tied to the plot just stands out due to how bad their acting or fit for the role is. Willis' assistant in the beginning seems so out of place in business setting that it's distracting. The girl playing the reporter feels like a Vinnie Chase fangirl more than anything else. The scene with Meloni and TJ is so awkward and forced...and the lines are terrible.
Pretty much everyone else feels like they came straight off the set of a bad network drama....something that isn't helped (and the director should be aware of) by casting Meloni as a FBI agent.
*spoiler* Once things move to the police station, we witness a scene so badly written, acted, directed, that you realize the movie is going to be really bad. This is compounded by the fact that the director also tried way too hard to make you care about the bad cop character (wife's cancer), his acting is so bad that it just takes you out of the movie.
Combine the bad casting, acting, directing with bad editing and it just snowballs into a force that's damn near unstoppable.
The problem is that it's not always all these factors all at once, but it's the fact that there's rarely ever a point in the movie where one of the factors isn't present (e.g. in a well acted, directed scene, the bad editing takes you out of it, in a well edited scene, the directing/acting is so bad it takes you out of it, etc)....The result is just a movie that feels really poorly put together throughout its 2 hour run time.
And finally, the director was just not able to really tell the story very well. The entire movie feels like it was made by a guy who was following an outline that analyzed the "cinematic elements" of the Usual Suspects...the flashbacks, background being told by characters within the movie, etc...
*spoiler* In the beginning we see that Willis' character is getting fed details about the crime scene in a way that immediately exposes him as being shady. This removes all suspense, intrigue, etc. that MIGHT have been built up around his character. It feels like the director was so aware how convoluted the plot was he felt the need to start spelling it out for you from the beginning, which only undermines any sort of mystery, suspense that he's trying to create....that the director doesn't understand this just doomed the movie from the get go.
*spoiler*It's a shame because the movie looks great and if the plot had probably one or two less twists, (especially if they'd dropped the dirty cop plot line) and more depth given to the story behind those parts the movie might have actually been decent despite all the problems.
Instead, the movie tries to pack in 2-3 movies worth of plot twists into 2 hours.
My idea of a top thriller is 'The Next three Days, 2010', just to be
clear. Or 'Deja vu, 2006'. Something with a catching plot and
(possibly) a girl to get.
The present title isn't as good as those. If they were a 10 this is a 7, however: no less. The plot may be convoluted (I read other reviews' titles) and in this case it would take a convoluted mind to appreciate it (which is something that I might have).
In any case Special Agent Montgomery (Christopher Meloni's character) is great and his partner (Dave Bautista) has his great moment when he asks him 'You're not gonna kiss me, are you?'.
I found it standing out from many other thrillers I watched this year and I think that many people could like it.
Not clear 7 ,maybe 6.8 but definitely not 5.4 Why so many bad reviews? Some 2...4 really guys? Come on ,what expectations somebody has from an action movie?The movie was good with a really nice plot. Watchable,not boring .A movie with a deeper purpose and good,interesting background story.Reviews are to help somebody to decide if it's worth seeing or not,some reviewers believe that a good review is some bad comments.Everyone had their opinion of course but 2 or 4 are for movies with no interest,awful plot and bad acting.This one wasn't any of these.I liked the idea of a higher purpose behind the script ,it had you thinking what happened?why?who? And that was interesting,there's not extremely plot just an action movie with smart scenario ,nothing unique or one of its kind.When I first saw 5.4 rate and 2...4 reviews I was like there's NO WAY to watch this.But i luckily i did and I'm glad that i did cause it was worth it.Give it a chance isn't that bad!!
A good action movie, sure the acting could have been better, but what
it lacks in acting drama, it compensate with good action.
Christopher Meloni dominates the role, and Dave Bautista adds that humor to the whole film.
the story-line was intriguing, something you couldn't see from a mile away.
the action scene were well choreographed, the bank robber had a great appeal to them.
the movie had a sense of direction which is brilliant.
All in All, an action movie lover's treat!
Why the low score? Vastly underrated on all accounts.
A fast pace with intelligent discourse and low key excellent acting, intriguingly complex characters and a plot than unravels perhaps too close for some peoples comfort.
Anyone with a genuine interest of well produced, clever, politically inclined police-thrillers and a generally solid judgment would rate this film significantly higher than its current received score.
The word "conspiracy" even mentioned in the real world triggers emotional fears and cognitive programming enough to blocks people from logic and from following genuine evidence. Perhaps films that picture the conspiracies in a realistic way run the risk of revealing reality without its mask of sanity?
Watch and enjoy!
...don't understand where all the hate is coming from for this movie.
you want to watch a bad and stupid action heist movie?...then watch
"heist". "heist got almost a full star higher rating here on IMDb and i
couldn't even finish it...it was that bad. ...i'm a fan of good
movies...i watch independents and art-house movies more then the
blockbusters. pus i've watched most of the black and white classics.
i'm just a fan of good movies.
that's why i can't understand the hate from the reviewers here and thats why i voted it a 7 out of 10. it's more like a 6.5 tho.
this movie could've been great tho...instead of just very good...but all in all it had me riveted to the screen for its duration. my only gripe was the movie should've been over 2 hours so the nitpickers will shut up about how convoluted and not well told it was. movies require you to use your brain sometimes...this was one of them.
all in all a very good watch if you are an action movie fan and just a enjoyable watch. another big bonus for me which others didn't like as much...the constant rain in the movie. it rained thru-out the whole movie just about...yayyyy.
solid solid action thriller revenge style flick...an atrocity that this movie gets a rating of 5.4 here on IMDb while clunkers like "heist" gets a much higher rating.
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