The trails of suspicion will have its vulnerable “point” with the people you actually trust!
Columbia Pictures in association with Relativity Media and Original Film present…
Time is the only consistent thing you will experience in the film while staging grounds that will tackle every possible angle, situation and standpoint of focal characters bringing together cohesion to the plot that will later unravel in the story! Don’t let the redundancy get into you, the moment the film starts it will provide the levity needed as you go along…
Director Pete Travis (Endgame) gives us an action political thriller that not only is unique in delivery but it was able to maximize its full potential on a 360 degree bird’s eye view letting the audience free flow with the film’s intended objective! Screenwriter Barry Levy gave a remarkable take on the premise helping create a needed environment that not just focuses on the “ceremony” but by also making sure the surrounding cast are well focused to do their jobs! (well, not all of them)
1ST TIER: A REPORTER’S CONUNDRUM
Veteran actress, Sigourney Weaver (Working Girl) GNN Production Head Rex Brooks, formerly written for a man to take the responsibility to be the eyes and ears of the event yet Sigourney with her knack of having a adamant personality gets the job done! She is partnered with rising star, Zoe Saldana (The Terminal) she plays GNN Field Reporter Angie Jones, a very brief scenario on what news coverage she intends to relay to the audience and the world! I think she was not the best person to have been chosen to play the role of a field reporter, though Angie plays just a small portion of the bigger picture, her character’s delivery was stale, trying hard and annoying! Not that she was given an aggressive demeanor; it was a forced effort especially at the beginning of the film! In short, she can be an eye candy shooting guns but not behind a microphone and a camera!
2nd TIER: BACK IN THE GAME…
Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow) US Secret Service Agent Thomas Barnes! He’s back coming from his last stint in rescuing the President from an assassination plot. He’s old and he’s paranoid! Instinct is key as they say, his obligation to protect the President at all cost is in his aura, his motives are direct and implemented throughout the film, his delivery was sometimes off and gets overacted at times but still redeemable in this film even from his previous ones!
3rd TIER: “YOU ARE ALWAYS AT THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME!”
Eduardo Noriega (Open Your Eyes) is covert Police Officer Enrique, on the run and suspected for foul play! The assassination of the President needs to come to terms with his past and what he needs to do in order to investigate the incident! Eduardo was chosen for his stern look and deep moral resolve, his character was embedded to be someone who can make the audience think while giving him the benefit of the doubt to be resolute and with integrity!
4TH TIER: SEPARATING CITIZEN FROM CIVILIAN
Howard Lewis, is alone, a visitor in a native land trying to break free from marital problems and just unwind from his supposedly “away from it all” vacation! He brings a camera surveying the crowds, the buildings and the most coveted ceremony for the United States President to address the people of Spain! Forest Whitaker (The Crying Game) gives a troubled man a purpose in his life, seeking the happiness that he longs for through his own camera.
His performance being Howard was already seen thousands of times and not to give much attention to the “Last King of Scotland” star, he goes back to being the peculiar one, the troubled person who needs attention no just through his own but by the situations surrounding him, he needs to change that kind of trademark where he tries to save the day but can’t! Few films come to mind such as “Blown Away”, “Species” and “Repomen”!
5TH TIER: DESPERATE MEASURES
William Hurt (A History of Violence) plays the part of the US President seeing that there was a confirmed plot for his demise, he was brought back to the hotel with Bruce McGill (Collateral) his Adviser Phil McGullough. William had so many chances to be a successful actor and yet falls into under worthy projects which leave him with no solid ground for at least another Academy award nomination after so many years of work. His character is flat footed, very predictable (most of his portrayals are) and needs a lot of strong stellar support to bring in at least a memorable film!
Bruce on the other hand was a long time TV series actor, a mainstay for MacGyver in the 80’s! He has a few films on his own usually B rated but at least he gets the right characters and films best suited for his talent!
6th TIER: BOMBS AWAY!
Said Taghmaoui (Three Kings) is cool and calculative Suarez armed with a cell phone that has the specs capable of triggering devices in a long distance radius. He had a collaborated film with Dennis in 2009 with a special military unit but that project was “mediocre” and they both play on the same team!
While Ayelet Zurer (Munich) the co-conspirator named Veronica who serves only as support and eye candy for the film! Speaking of which, Matthew Fox (We are Marshall) US Secret Service Agent Howard Lewis, people have been clamoring for this guy since he played the role of Jack Shephard in LOST created by the next “Spielberg” Director J.J. Abrams! Seriously, I am aware that he received a Golden Globe “Nomination” from the acclaimed TV series but his performance in this film falls flat, tumbles down and rolling over thrice then face on the ground! His worse than Sam Worthington for crying out loud!
It was a laborious take the Director even discussed the right amount of given takes to make the scenes perfect even choosing the “right “ people for the job, for me it was hits and misses and frankly it was lacklustered! When it comes to the idea, it was out of the ball park and how they captured every situation very well while telling the story in segments, they were able to put together the pieces of the puzzle in a well coordinated manner!
The trick that made it work was the plot; it was also a character and story driven at the same time! The only one who didn’t impress me was Zoe and Matt where she acts as someone reading an idiot board in front of the camera and started to bawl her brains out without concentrating on her objective, I understand this is how it was written, my point implies on her delivery. While Matt, is dull his portrayal even got shoddier because he was a Secret Service Agent, obviously I just preferred who was worse between him and Dennis and I chose the latter since he was already in the business for a long period of time!
To give an overall remark, it was a 6.5 out of 10, the film was able to fulfill the political thriller aspect, the storytelling was not distinctive which is one of its “Achilles Heel” and everyone has an open ended conclusion coming from underdeveloped characters to provide fruition for the story itself which gives at least its full circle to realize what “point” was most advantageous…the audience decides!