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Red Mercury is not to be confused with Val Kilmer’s sucky sci-fi flop Red Planet. Whereas Red Planet was a horrible gut wrenching movie about space, this is a political thriller set in London prior to the London Underground terrorist attack of 2005.
As it begins we find a terrorist cell working out of an apartment in England. They're building some sort of device. Suddenly they get a phone call and it is one of their terrorist friends telling them the cops are on the way and they have to leave immediately.
They grab their gear and make a break for it. Too bad the police are swarming everywhere and they don’t really have anywhere to go. Like rats in a cage the run into a random restaurant and take everyone hostage.
This is where we see the star power finally emerge in Ron Silver and Stockard Channing. Although I am unsure if you can really call Channing and Silver “star power”. Channing plays the restaurant owner who is very quirky to say the least. Silver plays, well..that same role he plays in every movie. He’s a powerful suit wearing intellectual American in England on business. I’m starting to realize this guy has zero depth to his roles.
So in essence this movie went from political thriller to “The Negotiator” in a New York minute. Not that that’s exactly a bad thing. What is a bad thing is that the producers of this movie felt the need to make some sort of political point that we as an audience could care less about.
These hostages develop Stockholm syndrome and start identifying with their captors. Channing goes off in rants about how the Iraq war is horrible and she goes on and on about the devastation of war in general. And she ends up cooking them a meal. How quaint. Silver is no stranger to the preachiness either. We discover that he considers himself more powerful then the US government, as he is some bigwig oil exec. Lets just say he doesn’t mince words about his political beliefs.
Now I know what your thinking, “Haven’t we seen a million hostage negotiation movies?” Well yes, but this one manages to throw a nice twist on the genre. Remember how earlier I mentioned the terrorists were building a device? Well we come to find out it’s the mother of all devices. They are building a portable nuclear bomb!
All in all this isn’t a bad movie by any means. It was designed to be a thrill a minute joyride, with the added bonus of political intrigue. It delivered on that front. However I don’t think the director carried things far enough. The action was somewhat toned down. The explosions could have been bigger and the body count could have surely increased. But then again this is a British film, not an American one.
I know some people will dismiss this as political propaganda, and that would be a mistake. To do that would be to dismiss a good film. Strip away all the politico BS, and what you have left is an honest, hardworking stoic British thriller. Don’t let Ron Silvers assholidness deter you.
Added: Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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