Gene Watson is a public accountant who arrives on a train at Union Station in Los Angeles, accompanied by his 6-year-old daughter Lynn. Because of his ordinary looks, he is approached by a pair of sinister people named Smith and Jones. Pretending to be cops, Smith and Jones kidnap Lynn and confront Gene with a simple choice -- kill California governor Eleanor Grant in 90 minutes or less, or Lynn will die. Watson is given a gun, six bullets, and a name tag, and he is told to go to the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and kill Eleanor, who is giving an afternoon speech. While Jones is watching Lynn in a van, Smith watches Watson in order to prevent Watson from alerting the authorities. Watson must quickly find some way to get himself and Lynn out of this seemingly impossible situation.Written by
One of the most remarkable film sequences involved one seamless take, during which Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken board a glass-walled elevator, and ride 35 floors to the top of Los Angeles' Bonaventure hotel. Crammed into the confines of the elevator with the actors were director John Badham, cinematographer Roy H. Wagner, focus-puller Todd Slyapich, sound mixer Willie D. Burton, boom operator Marvin E. Lewis, and script supervisor Barbara Thaxton. Given the fact that the elevator was glass from top to bottom, was lit by eight Kino Flo lamps, ensuring that camera and crew reflections were not captured on film, was quite an exercise in and of itself. See more »
Watson says he's from Santa Maria, which is near Lompoc (California), pronouncing it
"lom-pock". If he actually lived there, he'd know it's pronounced "LOM-poke". See more »
[Mr. Watson hears the train conductor shoutout to the Amtrak travelers]
Los Angeles is next! Los Angeles is next! Please check under your seats.
See more »
A clever idea - an thriller played along real time to involve the viewer directly in the tension and pressure of the deadlines. Depp is forced to kill a senator or his daughter will be killed by Walken and Maffia. He is given a gun and a time limit to carry it out.
As the basis for a thriller it doesn't quite work - the real time concept falls apart a few times, but with this much talent on board it still holds it own. A throwback to the Hitchcock everyman thrillers of years ago, Depp plays his character well and you always believe he is just an ordinary man in an unbelievable situation rather than an action hero in the making while Walken does what he does best and plays the villain well.
The plot holds together well and you really find stuff out at the same time as Depp does. Some of the conspiracy stuff towards the end of the film is obvious and doesn't add anything to the film, but the main story revolving around Depp and Walken is tense enough to carry the film.
It doesn't contain any explosions or martial arts but the tension is good throughout. It's not a classic thriller but it's quite an original idea and plot and almost manages to keep the tension for the whole movie.
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