Charlie swindled $10 billion from investors. He manages to slip away from FBI in LA but is spotted in Tijuana. FBI's not alone. Mexican and Russian gangsters want him, too.Charlie swindled $10 billion from investors. He manages to slip away from FBI in LA but is spotted in Tijuana. FBI's not alone. Mexican and Russian gangsters want him, too.Charlie swindled $10 billion from investors. He manages to slip away from FBI in LA but is spotted in Tijuana. FBI's not alone. Mexican and Russian gangsters want him, too.
With the FBI on his trail, led by Agent Hobbs (Mario Van Peebles) who is determined to save face with his superior officer, a crass and effective Corbin Bernsen.
Hobbs sets off to find Wright, (Aidan Quinn) but soon finds others on the money trail, including vigilantes hired by one of Wright's victims ( led by Luke Goss) and a Mexican businessman (Andy Garcia) and his brother Danny Pino) who need to find Wright's stashed away money to save themselves from some kind of big debt they have in Mexico City.
With all of the action brewing Tijuana is the perfect backdrop for finding Charlie Wright. Charlie, however is more concerned with finding his long lost daughter and making up for the time he's lost and the lives he's destroyed.
One of the strong points in the film is the consistent depth of acting. All the performances are solid. Van Peebles brings a mature and reflective depth to his role. Garcia adds vulnerability to his strong exterior and Quinn has a depth of soul in his life's reflection that makes watching him so enjoyable.
Strong performances are also turned in by the scene stealing Claudia Ferri as an prostitute who helps Charlie find his daughter and his way. And also Luke Goss as the intense hit-man bent on killing Wright.
The performances can be attributed to strong direction by Frazier and solid editing. Scenes move quickly and the pace is fluid while maintaining the depth of the performances without lagging on any moment too long. The camera moves fluidly and cuts are pinpoint getting to the point and driving home the emotion and action. The action scenes work without any big budget effects, so kudos to the sound, music and editing departments for making it work.
Also solid camera work and lots of hand-held or steadicam shots put you in the action and keep you there. The cinematography really helps set the tone. There are many interesting angles and movements which really help define the character of the film.
Exodus is woven together with a beautiful score. A virtuoso blend of guitar mixed with some orchestral arrangements and strong percussion make listening to the film a pleasure. Some great original songs are also scattered throughout the soundtrack. I especially liked the end title theme.
Another strong point is the sound mix. Really great clarity on blu-ray. My surround speakers picked up the subtle background sounds and a lot of the accented effects punctuated the sound mix to give it a surreal yet realistic feel. The mix was harmonized and balanced.
This is great low budget filmmaking. Judging by the credits list, Frazier did a lot with a very little. This seems to be about a quarter of the staff of a studio film and the results are on par with any major indie, so hats off to all the people who worked on this.
I'm going to watch La Linea this week because I think this is an up and coming writer/director to look out for.
- Dec 23, 2010