April 3, 2011
Give it a hot I did. For most of its runtime I sat there just trying to figure out what I was supposed to care about. The movie is rarely boring, but it is a movie that never takes its foot off the throttle to give us any actual character moments. In someways it reminded me of Smokin' Aces, not because of what the story was about but because it involved a whole lot of people and combined bloody action with comedy in an odd fashon. It isn't nearly as good as Aces, in fact it is not a very good movie at all. Again, the best thin I can say is that it moves too fast to be boring.
The movie opens with a big party scene filled nude and nearly nude prostitutes cavorting with political figures (including on played by Christopher MacDonald). The party comes to an abrupt end in a hail of gunfire and explosions. During this scene we are introduced to a great number of characters that I assume I was supposed to remember. It is a method used throughout the movie, using title cards and freeze frame to introduce characters.
The scene shifts to a restaurant that no one seems to want to visit. It is run by Anthony (Scott Mechlowicz), a smart guy with no luck. This is about to change as his best friend Julian (Alphonso Macauley) has arrived in town. He has arrived with a plan of his own, but before we get there, Cat (Paz Vega) comes into the restaurant, uses the phone and then disappears.
What happens next is a mash of international thriller, political cover up, and buddy comedy. The characters just don't ever come together. We never get enough time to learn about these characters, everything just felt so unreal and detached.
The main thrust was that Cat had a crucial piece of evidence regarding the cover up and the prostitute shoot out at the outset. A cold blooded assassin, Helen Bingham (Janet McTeer), is sent on her trail. Meanwhile, Anthony and Julian start up Julian's latest plan, start a detective agency. Their first case? That's right, find Cat.
That is all you really need to know about the story. It is sloppily told, makes little sense and before long you will find that you really don't care. Once it is realized that they aren't going to give you enough of a story to matter, why bother? I found myself instead being distracted by just watching the visuals in the screen. They had a certain commercial sheen to them that was decent enough. Oh yes, I almost forgot, the movie also has D.L. Hughley as a war veteran triple amputee receptionist. Yes, you read that right.
So, thin characters and a thinner story add up to a movie that I just could not connect with. It happens.
Posted by Christopher Beaumont at 4/03/2011 09:10:00 PM
Chris has been an avid movie watcher for decades, getting into the writing game in 2004. Since that time he has contributed to a number online publications as well as running CriticalOutcast.com. In addition to movies, Chris is a big fan of music, particularly metal, and will never give up hope on his beloved Mets.