Red Mercury Reviews

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jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ April 29, 2011
A surprisingly high grade cast for such a potboiler. Not terrible but an ordinary hostage drama with Juliet Stevenson standing out with an excellent performance.
½ June 7, 2007
A muddled mess!

Barber Ali, Alex Caan and Navin Chowdhry star as British Muslims that are building a dirty bomb. The police recieve a tip about them, and so the terrorists flee from their apartment. The police are in hot pursuit though, so the three take refuge (and hostages!) in a Greek restaurant. The heart of the film is about how the terrorists interact with their hostages, and how the police are MI-5 work in the background for a peaceful resolution to the situation. Yes, we find out that the terrorists have feelings, too. That they are British born and loved the same TV shows and football teams as many of their hostages. Yes, we find out that some in the police force (the stereotypically macho types) want to use ruthless force on the terrorists, while others want to use finesse. What we [i]don't[/i] find out until the end is a secret that MI-6 has been keeping from both 5 and the police.

There are a lot of problems with the film. One is Stockard Channing, who plays the Greek owner of the restaurant; at first you think she's simply mangling a horrible British accent (it's not until about 10 minutes into her scenes that we figure out that she's supposed to be Greek; once you find this out it's slightly more believable). Still, she and Pete Postlethwaite seem thrown into the film just to add [i]gravitas[/i] to a script that can't support it. In my eyes, the people that wrote this film were rejects from [i]Spooks[/i], people that applied to Kudos (the company that makes [i]Spooks[/i] for the BBC) and were rejected. In fact, the film feels like a [i]Spooks[/i] cast-off. And even though the film is about the victims more than the people that save them, that's exactly what this film is - a rejected [i]Spooks [/i]script, written by people that were rejected as writers by the show. It's not awful, but it's not that great, either.
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