If this review doesn't spoil the movie, it has failed
From some of the hype I was hearing this movie was supposed to be like a “24” style cop flick with twists and turns but it ended up a crummy action film with a few cops in it. The studio, 20th Century Fox, fumbled what could have been a huge money maker and now, I predict, they won’t turn a profit. With so many cop shows being produced, the director should have hired someone as a consultant for this movie to say, “Whoa, whoa, now does this make sense? Does this help of hurt the story?”. If this had been the case, the consultant would have nipped this movie in the bud.
The director of this film, Clark Johnson, must be a fan of cop shows because this movie is stylized, framed and shot in exactly the same way ( * I looked it up and apparently he has done several for TV). The only innovation to the genre that this director brings to the table is a bit of fade in/out material with hand scrawled notes about murdering the president and the crazy talk of a madman that is telling us what his next move is. This movie is laden with all kinds of cop stereotypes: The wily veteran, the brash young officer with something to prove, the token black guy, the token Arabic guy, the hot and competent female lead, and the list goes on. Stereotypes like these are omnipresent in film so you come to accept them, but in this case they ring hollow more than ever. As the viewers, we quickly realize what’s what so when the story tries to switch tracks, which happens early and often, the movie comes to a screeching halt. This film was not constructed in a way that could sustain interest for almost 2 hours.
The actors in the film are unconvincing and over dramatic. Every line looks forced and sounds even worse. In terms of dialogue this was one of the worst movies, this year, for building up characters via conversation and interaction. Kiefer Sutherland plays a by the book Secret Service officer who made the lead investigator in a case that balloons from a homicide to treason/attempted assassination of the President of the
There are two good parts of the movie, but they won’t impress everyone. The first positive in this movie was the panning shot of
Overall, this movie was a dry, disappointing pseudo-action thriller, without the twists or flair of any of other movies in the genre. It deserves 1/10 or zero stars. I went into this movie expecting a more intriguing storyline, with some false leads, a red herring or two and a solid cast playing characters that are interesting if not entertaining to watch. I cannot recommend this movie to anyone on those grounds. Fans of the genre may be able to pull more out of it than I can but for the casual viewer, save your money for “The Inside Man”.