Catch a Fire Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 25, 2007
Quite okey movie and its true story. Its about politics in africa and terrorism. Story is about Patrick which have a decent job in africa but gets problem later with his family and the anti-terrorism group (Tim Robbins) being after him. Worth seeing but slow some parts.
½ October 8, 2007
It doesn't quite have the adrenaline to be a great thriller, but Catch a Fire makes up for it with compelling characters and a genuinely important theme.
October 29, 2006
wow ummmmn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch.......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie......i think that tim robbins, derek luke, bonnie henna, Mncedisi Shabangu, Tumisho K. Masha, play good roles/parts throughout this movie.......i think that the director of this drama/musical/performing arts/mystery/suspense movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.......i think that this is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie........i think that this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch i think that this is such a really sad movie 2 watch it is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie.........i think that this is such a brilliant movie 2 watch it is a really powerful drama movie 2 watch its such a really well acted/written/directed movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie......i think that this is just such a really sad movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie......i think that this is such a really sad movie 2 watch but its such a brilliant movie 2 watch i think that both tim robbins/ derek luke were brilliant throughout this movie.....i think that this is such a really sad movie 2 watch but its such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie its such a brilliant movie 2 watch.......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.......i think that this is such a brilliant movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie its such an enjoyable movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie its such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch but its such an enjoyable movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie.....
February 28, 2014
Catch a Fire caught my eye mostly as a Tim Robbins political thriller, but moreso as a film directed by acclaimed Australian film director Phillip Noyce.

Catch a Fire has its bumps along the road since the plot is rather slowly paced and the story is fairly basic and limited to a small space, but it's still enjoyable.
While the film takes place on a small scale despite being part of a significantly larger picture, there is no denying the intense and shocking effect of the political crimes that take place in Catch a Fire. Its material has all been explored before in other films on a larger and more intense scale, but in Catch a Fire director Phillip Noyce reminds us that his directional talent has not decreased in his many years as a filmmaker and that his ability to tackle apartheid and terrorism is intelligent and strong.
The drama in Catch a Fire is strikingly powerful most of the time, and while there are some periods of waiting around for massive drama to strike, Catch a Fire manages to keep its atmosphere intense thanks to the drama that the screenplay deals with in its story and dialogue, combined with the efforts of a dedicated cast and cinematography which is mostly claustrophobic and therefore enhancing the intense visual experience that Catch a Fire aims to be.
Combining Shawn Slovo's script with Phillip Noyce's direction, Catch a Fire turns out to be a surprisingly effective film which has a sufficient amount of drama to it to carry it through 101 minutes of cinema.
But the main source of success in Catch a Fire comes from the performances of the two lead actors.
Derek Luke's performance is one of absolute incredible strength which has a tenacious grip over all the intense political drama that Catch a Fire explores. In his finest performance since Antwone Fisher, Derek Luke manages to combine the intense elements of his character's physicality which comes naturally to him and comes out with a powerful effect. His talent is similar to Chiwetel Ejiofor's but played off in a significantly smaller scale film, and Derek Luke proves to make an intense lead with a real grasp over his character
Tim Robbins' South African accent is flawlessly convincing in Catch a Fire because it is never excessive or ridiculous, but rather realistic and sensible. He manages to integrate his accent finely into his line delivery and follow it up with the kind of intense stare that an actor like Dennis Quaid uses to convey intense drama. It works, and so Tim Robbins' dark and intense performance is one of his strongest since his Academy Award winning role in Mystic River from 2003. He has a real intense tenacity over his character and director Phillip Noyce ensures that he gets everything out of Tim Robbins that he truly can.

So Catch a Fire is an intense and excellently acted film with enough intelligence and strong direction to overshadow the faults of its pacing
Super Reviewer
½ September 7, 2010
3 3/4's..Decent bio-drama. A little rough around the edges, but decently done. Derek Luke does a fine job. The story of what happened in this country is never a dull one.
December 7, 2012
Worth finding and watching!
½ September 19, 2012
Fairly predictable, slightly mundane and a bit too "Tom Clancy"-like.
September 9, 2012
The true story of Patrick Chamusso, an apolitical rifinery worker in apartheid South Africa, who becomes an operative for Mandela's ANC after being brutalized by the government. A well written and acted film that explores how excessive and brutal responses to terrorism only creates more terrorists.
July 11, 2012
The bench mark for South African Aperteid films was set with the brillant Cry Freedom. Since then there has been few films made on the subject. Catch A Fire is a well told story. Tim Robbins is a great actor but miscast, seems nerves with the accent, also it is hard to work out his motive and generally the monatone speech is a problem. Derek Luke does well, but the lack of pace, energy and emotion, fails to grip the casual viewer of the important true story.
November 17, 2008
An interesting story, perhaps with a bit too much discontinuity. Derek Luke was great though, showing his range with a great departure from Boobie Miles.
June 10, 2012
I always enjoy watching movies about other country's political struggles, especially from those perspectives of folks who didn't set out necessarily to become involve. Perhaps, it is just the advocate in me who enjoys learning of other advocacies whether or not they are political in nature.
April 30, 2012
Good true story of how losing control can change your life
½ March 24, 2012
It starts well, but the ending leaves you feeling empty.
February 17, 2012
It seems to be some attempt to piggyback on Hotel Rwanda [which I'm sure it can't do], but I'd like to see it anyway. I like Derek Luke.
½ February 3, 2012
An interesting film in that the protagonist becomes a hero in an unlikely way. It's got emotion, good acting, good story. A good movie that is a couple of steps from being great.
July 1, 2008
It's pretty poorly paced, but Tim Robbins plays a good baddie. It could have been much better.
November 16, 2011
[The film is] complex. It's rich. I think it's well-done.
½ October 28, 2011
Derek Luke does a good job, the film is well written and does the job. If you enjoy this one check out Endgame with Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Something about these movies really does light a fire in your heart. A great biopic as well. The backstory of the film is just as compelling.
½ July 4, 2010
Le film traite d'un sujet peu abordé par le cinéma, l'Apartheid, et il le fait bien. Pas de violence gratuite ici, le réalisateur sait rester humble. Un peu trop peut-être, car le "méchant" n'est pas un véritable salaud comme il est probable que les policiers sud-africains l'étaient.
Une mention spéciale aux acteurs, très à l'aise. Ils ont sans doute conscience que le sujet abordé est d'importance, et ils se gardent bien de sur-jouer.
Super Reviewer
½ March 7, 2011
In watching the compelling Apartheid-set bio-pic Catch a Fire, one cannot help but think back to Cry Freedom, Richard Attenborough's poignant but overlong portrait of slain non-violent South African activist Steven Biko (Denzel Washington) and his unlikely friendship with a white reporter (Kevin Kline). With Fire, director Phillip Noyce tackles the other side of the coin, chronicling the rise of an anti-apartheid "terrorist" and his antagonistic relationship with a white colonel, all within a breezy running time that keeps the action taut.

In this R-rated South African-set thriller, hard-working family man Patrick Chamusso (Luke) truly turns revolutionary after he is wrongly accused and tortured for a crime by Police Security Branch operative Nic Vos (Robbins) in the early '80s.

No stranger to political intrigue, Noyce (Patriot Games, Rabbit-Proof Fence) presents a 1980s-set true story made all the more timely by the events of September 11, a point he capitalizes on. After Vos (representing foreign govt.) tortures the innocent Chamusso (representing persecuted natives), the latter's motives for turning radically political become starkly obvious, paralleling a certain Western power's occupation of modern-day Iraq. Catch a Fire also gives a powerful combo in Robbins and Luke, who bring their respective characters' moral ambiguity to light with a gripping intensity--perhaps too well. Noyce shows us family man Chamusso's philandering while concurrently portraying Vos's nearly perfect home life with middling results. As the real-life Chamusso's appearance at the end makes clear, this is HIS story, not that of the top-billed Robbins. Perhaps, Focus Features just wanted to get their money's worth out of the Oscar-winner.

Bottom line: Once you catch it, you won't let go.
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