11 January 2002 | bob the moo
Poor action and very lazy plotting - may I suggest Enemy of the State?
When political aide Bobby Bishop is warned by an old friend of a high level Government conspiracy before witnessing his murder he finds his life turned upside down and pursued by a trained killer. Unsure of who to trust Bishop teams up with journalist Amanda Givens in a race to uncover the conspiracy and clear his name, but who can he trust as the stakes are raised.
This is ultimately a chase movie, the political conspiracy is nothing more than an assassination plot that is wheeled out at the end. Most of the film is Bishop escaping from the killer and trying to uncover the truth. The conspiracy is pretty thin and you can guess who is involved from the first 20 minutes. The way that Bishop manages to uncover this great conspiracy is far too easy and it makes it all feel too lazy. And the assassination attempt is worth seeing just to laugh at how ridiculous it is - I won't spoilt it for you but trust me, it's totally absurd. That leaves the chase element which is quite dull and gets repetitive.
Sheen is not great here - often he can do well in poor films, such as Terminal Velocity, by giving a fun performance. Here he is serious and hunted and must "do" serious throughout. In fact the cast is actually really good on paper - lots of famous faces, Linda Hamilton, Sutherland, Turturro, Paul Gleason, Sam Waterston and Gore Vidal. Gore Vidal for God's sake! How all these people manage to not see that this was going to be a turkey is beyond me. Hamilton is unbelievable and seems content with the fact that it's not just a TVM. Sutherland does his usual stuff and is quite good. But should a poor film like this deserve a cast this deep?
Overall a poor film that relies on lazy plotting to move it's action along. The conspiracy is easily uncovered and the killer is easily avoided. When even Charlie Sheen describes this as "a piece of s***" then you know it's not going to be good. Avoid this - an alternative is Enemy of the State which has similar themes but is much, much better.