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Film Review: ‘Life on the Line’

Film Review: ‘Life on the Line’

John Travola is a lineman for the county, and he drives the main road — through very, very familiar territory — in “Life on the Line,” an uninspired time-killer that, while purportedly “based on actual events,” plays like a by-the-numbers aggregation of shopworn clichés. There’s a ’70s TV-movie vibe to the entire enterprise, an impression reinforced by the stock characters — including such staples as a troubled former combatant (in this case, an Iraq War veteran, not a Vietnam vet) and a courageous crew of troubleshooters — and an episodic structure that seems ready-made for commercial breaks. The narrative is so predictable that, when an outburst of trash-talking doesn’t escalate into a barroom brawl, it’s not just surprising, it’s pretty close to shocking.

And speaking of shocking: Electrocution appears to be just one of the occupational hazards facing the Texas linemen led by Beau Ginner (Travolta), a demanding foreman who

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