This film is about a hyper-vigilant employee of the department of public safety who, while training his young female replacement, has to track down a missing girl who he is convinced is connected to a paroled sex offender he is investigating.
A political thriller: the real-life story of a South African hero's journey to freedom. In the country's turbulent and divided times in the 1980s, Patrick Chamusso is an oil refinery foreman and soccer coach who is apolitical - until he and his wife Precious are jailed. Patrick is stunned into action against the country's oppressive reigning system, even as police Colonel Nic Vos further insinuates himself into the Chamussos' lives.Written by
Philip Noyce's politically charged thriller starring Academy Award winner Tim Robbins and Derek Luke is brilliant and striking picture. When Patrick Chamusso (Luke) is wrongfully charged with terrorist charges and his family violently offended by the leader of the operation Nik Vos, (Robbins) Patrick joins the rebellion to fight against the regime.
As the film touches on the many tones of politics, racism, and economic problems in South Africa, the emotional and dramatic quality of the film is the beauty of it. While the screenplay has flaws in character arc, the film is as beautiful as it is tragic. Derek Luke puts forth the best performance of his short career and is on his way to many potent and demanding roles in the future. His humanity and heroism shown in Patrick carries the film on his shoulders and when years pass, this will be film we will remember Luke's breakout turn besides Antwone Fisher.
Tim Robbins brings forth a frightening turn with his spot on accent but is a little distracting and a miscast. With no direction for his character to go, many questions are left unanswered and frustrates the viewer. He still shows us he is one of the best working actors today when put in the right role.
Bonnie Henna who puts forth an admirable effort as the supportive wife, "Precious," leaves the audience a bit disenchanted but has the strong will that makes the viewer worry for her. While Patrick is training and gets his codename, "Hotstuff" in which the film is adapted from of the same title, Henna is given enough screen time to run with her role and soar.
Noyce creates some great cinematic moments with Luke but I have to say, I give Luke much of the credit. He completely engulfed himself in his role. His charm and charisma is his strongest attribute and lets the film succeed as much as it can. The film however never really "catches fire" rather sparks up all over the place.
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