Scott Wiper. When I first heard his name, I immediately thought of it as one of those I have on my mental 'avoid all works by'-list. Then I looked him up, and found out that I remembered his name from the writing credit for the truly awful film, The Last Marshall. Being the forgiving guy that I am, I thought, "what the hey, he only wrote that horrendous piece of trash, maybe a film directed by him won't be as bad." Well, I was partly right. It's not as bad, but it is pretty bad. The plot makes no sense on any conceivable level. To give a quick summary, bearing in mind that I didn't pay much attention to the first ten minutes of the film(which seemed to make no sense and have no clear connection to the remaining 80, but maybe that's just me) and little to no attention to the last 15-20, it seemed to be about some guy who disappears never to be seen again, and the rest of the film has a bunch of people looking for him. The plot goes from unlikely event to unlikely event, and it's going to take all of your suspension of disbelief to swallow even half of this stuff. I'll give you two quick examples: At one point, a character has to hide for some hours... so he does what any of us would do... he climbs down a toilet. Now, after those hours have passed, he emerges, and takes a deep breath. So, we're basically supposed to believe he somehow could hold his breath for that long? Another point is when the villains throw not one, not two, but three grenades right after each other. And at no other point in the movie do we even get a hint that they might have anything other than guns. Seriously, those three grenades just rolling into frame... that was a moment of(what I suspect is unintentional) hilarity. I can't imagine someone seeing that scene and not laughing, at least a little. Then there's the repetitiveness, the lack of imagination displayed in the writing. Several points in action scenes have tension being broken by the main characters damn wristwatch beeping. Turn the bloody thing off; that's what any normal person would do. One guy seems to get shot over and over without ever dying or even coming to serious harm. The acting is pretty bad most of the time, and it's clear that most of the casting was done based on physical appearance rather than acting talent(made evident by how small a part Joe Pantoliano has, even though he's easily the most talented person involved in the project). The cinematography has its moments, but mostly it's just dreadful. Half of the action is nearly impossible to make out, as there are too few 'cover-shots'(meaning, we don't see the movement, we see the beginning and/or the end result, but not the action itself) and half of the stuff is done with hand-held camera and in long takes, clearly showing the pure laziness of Mr. Wiper. The action is nearly constant, but about as unrealistic as the plot. We don't really connect with any of the characters, and by the end of the film, we just don't care anymore. Too many lazy stereotypes in the place of actual characters and too many plot holes. The dialog varies, but the majority of it is poor. There's really nothing memorable or worthwhile in this film, and most people should just skip it. I recommend it only to die-hard fans of action flicks. 6/10
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