An Issue Of Survival Overcome By A Disarranged Screenplay.
This Canadian film shot entirely and shabbily with videotape, opens with a scene that is soon repeated, its first appearance being perhaps a misplaced trailer, that would indeed be representative of a rather confusing scenario primarily occupied with depicting detailed actions of John Schrader (Jack Zimmerman), an accountant for a large corporation who has decided to forcefully take over a Hamilton, Ontario television studio, an exploit successfully achieved by means of his manufacturing of a briefcase bomb, along with an only tenuous hold upon reality. Schrader is depressed due to the death of his only son, the end of a 32 year marriage, and the imprisonment of his daughter upon an imaginary Caribbean island, Kanzaal, she being accused of political crimes against the state. Therefore, when he learns that the prime minister of Kanzaal, Yuri Ahshi, will soon be visiting in Hamilton (for reasons never made clear), John communicates with a local television journalist, Paul Adams, and persuades him to invite Ahshi, as an interviewee, to his program, where Adams will ply the guest with disputatious questions supplied and composed by Schrader, utilizing documents that he has purloined from his employer that is ostensibly financially connected in illicit fashion with the Caribbean country. Unknown to Adams, guileful accountant John, who has unaccountably been hired as a grip (non-union?) has constructed a bomb to fit snugly within a briefcase along with copies of the damning documents implicating Kanzaal in criminal activity, and at gunpoint takes several crew members and guests hostage, their freedom theoretically to be exchanged for the release of his daughter, with the entire silly affair being televised nationally and providing entertainment not merely from the hostage-taking situation, but additionally from broadcasting throughout the land footage of Schrader and his former wife plaintively renewing their lost love, each for the other. Telefilm Canada contributes to this production that includes location shooting for a single sequence upon Saint Kitts, the remainder being completed in Hamilton. Funding spent in a less futile manner might have been for a higher grade of film stock in lieu of videotape, and more capable post-production visual and sound editing, especially with the latter improved looping and synchronization, and certainly script doctoring to correct a raft of weaknesses in continuity and logic terminating any possibility of an absorbing drama being developed. There are capable players on board here, but their talents are not to be seen at their best, due to an excessive number of ancillary plot threads that are with little point for the most part, including such as a randy young couple who frolic throughout the film wherever they may be in the studio; a police two-man detective team that has apparently been placed in charge of the entire charade; and sundry internecine and romantic conflicts that occupy the emotions of studio personnel and management, all of which tend to deflect a viewer's focus from the primary storyline, thereby helping to reduce the general quality of this work to its status as an obscure oddity in search of an appropriate genre.
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