29 June 1999 | O.N.
This movie had promise. Unfortunately, it's let down by a lame plot, bad acting and a very cheap, made for TV look.
The movie centres on stunt car driver Nick (Michael Madsen) who is sprung from jail (after being wrongly convicted.... surprise!) to drive the getaway car for a bunch of crooks who intend to kidnap the president and sell him to the highest bidder.
Unfortunately, this somewhat original idea, and the talents of Madsen and Roy Scheider (as the president) are ruined by poor execution and plotting. The story fails to explain adequately what the military has to do with everything, the constant presidential speeches have no real point in the plot and Madsen's character is sometimes made to look like a sincere guy and at other times just like the money hungry thieves he supposedly detests.
The car chase sequences, which could have been exciting, simply come across as silly because of ultra slow motion shots and cars that begin to explode before they've even collided ! The villains hideout also looks like some cheap leftover from the original Star Trek series.
And finally, the acting itself is generally quite poor, particularly the bad guys (Angie Everhart is NOT an actress). Even Madsen, who I thought was great in "Donnie Brasco" and "Reservoir Dogs" seems to be coasting along for the ride, although this could be partly attributed to the lame dialogue his character has been given.
All in all, "Executive Target" is about what you'd expect from a cheap made for TV movie, which is a pity really because there is definite potential here.