The President of the United States is in Salamanca, Spain, about to address the city in a public square. We see a plain-clothes cop, his girlfriend with another man, a mother and child, an American tourist with a video camera, and a Secret Service agent newly returned from medical leave. Shots ring out and the President falls; a few minutes later, we hear a distant explosion, then a bomb goes off in the square. Those minutes are retold, several times, emphasizing different characters' actions. Gradually, we discover who's behind the plot. Is the Secret Service one step ahead, or have the President's adversaries thought of everything?Written by
The original script set the story in Madrid, but the producers wanted a more "exotic" location. The fact is revealed in some scenes, like the secret service guy who says they can't locate a single person among "5 or 6 million" (Madrid's population; Salamanca's is much smaller), or when the cop enters a Muslim neighborhood during the foot chase (Madrid has one, Salamanca doesn't). See more »
When Anna bumps into Howard, her hair was pulled back but loose. When Howard carries her after the explosion, her hair was pulled back much tighter. See more »
Good morning, America. It's now 12 noon in Salamanca, Spain. In a short time, world leaders from over 150 countries meet here in Plaza Mayor to sign up to President Ashton's bold new counterterrorist strategy. Since 9/11, more than 4500 people have been killed in the rising tide of global terror. Those lives will not soon be forgotten as today, the world comes together to take a stand against this violence. We may be on the brink of a historic agreement between Western and Arab ...
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I must admit I went into the theatre interested, but skeptical. Slowly, I got drawn into things, and by the time the we were at the fourth vantage point, I was fascinated by how all the stories interrelated with each other, and wondering the story would end up.
The acting is uniformly excellent, especially that of Dennis Quaid, who I had previously considered a mostly comic actor, but is very convincing here as a Secret Service agent.
The direction and script are also excellent, especially when you consider both are first-timers in the world of feature films. The script was not without its clichés, but I didn't see most of the plot twists coming, which I can usually spot coming a mile away in a film like this. There was one real groaner of a plot twist that you'd have to be an idiot not to see, but it goes by so fast that it doesn't really matter.
A lot of the audience in the screening I was at got frustrated by the repeated sections, obviously having no attention span. But once the third act of the film kicks into gear, everybody stopped complaining.
Speaking of which, the third act is the payoff which we've all been waiting for. Seeing all the plot threads converge in such a convincing matter was nice, as was the final action scene, which seems like it was plucked right out of one of the Bourne films. This comes as little surprise, since director Pete Travis and Bourne series director Paul Greengrass have worked together in the past.
As skeptical as I had gone in, I came out impressed. Not since The Bourne Ultimatum have I seen such a convincing, engrossing action thriller.
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