Billionaire Ransom (II) (2016)
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I'm hoping once people read my review, they will rate this movie appropriately.
I gave this one a 9. Why? Because you can't compare apples to oranges. What I mean by that is a movie needs to be rated on the investment/production value as well as entertainment.
Let me explain; Let's take Barber Shop 2 as an example (that has a 5.9 average). It has how many top rated actors (how many DON'T you know?) as well as a 20 million budget (which went where exactly?). Yet it was boring, biased, stupid, NOT funny etc...
Now take this movie... I didn't recognize any actors, budget was clearly low as it wasn't even disclosed, yet the story line was great, acting was good, the scenery was amazing, and I was pleasantly entertained!
If a movie has a high budget with A-list actors and top directors/producers and is terrible, it deserves a low score.
But going into a movie that is a B type movie with no name actors (of which the acting was not bad at all) and is made well and is entertaining, it needs to be rated appropriately!
So hopefully everyone else who sees this enjoys it as much as I did and rates it accordingly.
The film does a good job when it's focused on the kids, but then you're pulled out of the story with snippets of the group planning the heist and it feels disjointed. Suddenly, you remember it's a heist/ransom situation and that's almost disappointing. I could easily watch a film about this group of trust fund babies learning what it's like to be free and to want something more than their previous lives.
The dichotomy of the film is its weakness. The two parts would have been great as separate movies. However, it is still very much a watchable film.
Anyway, "Billionaire" plays like two separate films altogether. The first hour is all about spoiled, rich kids being taken to a remote, reform school as opposed to going to jail. The last 40-50 minutes are about these same Richie Rich, twentysomethings trying to escape hardened criminals who want to hold them hostage at the same darn school.
Echoing 1993's Cliffhanger, Ransom, and The Maze Runner, Billionaire Ransom is by turns violent, bloody, and unabating. It has moments of suspense and relegated strain. However, this British thriller is only mildly compelling compared to Mel Gibson's 1996 hit and Sly Stallone's backyard brawl of an actioner.
Released in August, filmed in Wales which is made to look like Scotland, and originally titled Take Down, "Billionaire" hasn't found much of an audience. Based on its current box office state, it might not find much of one on DVD either. Sadly, the budget constraints, the nameless cast, and the action movie clichés might be to blame (I hate it when law enforcement conveniently arrives after everyone has been shooting at each other and bodies are already lying on the ground).
In regards to "Billionaire's" character development, well the actor/actress portrayals are unlikable, snide, and defensed. We're talking about young protagonists here and their wealthy parents. These are the people you're inclined to root for. The hostage takers don't count. They're supposed to be vexatious for Pete's sake.
As for "Billionaire's" look, undoubtedly it's ultramodern and lush, with the scenery of counterfeit Northern Isles really taking over. The film's musical score by trip hop band Hybrid, makes it all feel Bourne-like as things stir along at a breakneck pace.
All in all, Billionaire Ransom senses to be a bit uneven until the gun- filled, second act takes over. And it has a slight twist at the end that almost feels like filler (a rich kid's brother makes a few secret phone calls to the bad guys, hint hint). Bottom line: Based on everything I have just written, the whiff of a rental is exactly what you'll get with Billionaire Ransom. I give it a two and a half star "payoff". Ha!
Guide: No swearing, sex, or nudity. "Billionaire Ransom" and "Take Down" are the same film.
Also, the production, scenery, music etc was quite good.
Little and not-so-little inconsistencies in the plot accumulate steadily, gradually becoming more noticeable. I'm happy to suspend reality for a creative tale, well told, so long as whatever takes place is reasonably credible within the context of the story. Take things too far, though, and those inconsistencies become distracting. Reality reasserts itself and the moment is lost.
FWIW I suggest you stop watching when the FBI becomes involved and imagine your own conclusion.