Gosh what a seductive idea. Gosh what a spasm of waste.
The problem is that clever ideas were borrowed and spliced together with no annealing. So we have this business of recorded movies and the movie we watch overlap. The movies within are by Forrest Whitaker and a TeeVee crew managed by Sigourney Weaver. These play no role at all.
We have the part that is caper movie, and we see an elaborate plan unfold, complete with remote orchestration by cell phone. But the caper gymnastics are underplayed. On top of that we have the double con: a switcheroo plot set up by the president’s men to trick him into a war with Islam, based on an expected terrorist attack is double switcherooed by those terrorists. This is stuff that works only when it is the spine of the thing.
We have a classic redemption tale of a tenacious if not bright bodyguard who made a mistake and paid. This is tied to a traditional chase scene.
And the thing is set up as a “21 Grams” sort of intersection of parallel lives and coincident fates.
You can just see the writer, frustrated by rejection because his scripts don’t have this or that depending on who is rejecting. You can just imagine him deciding one day to mash everything up and as long as it will be colourful (so it needs Latin energy) all will be well.
You will already know that this film is not considered a success. We could have had “Snake Eyes” and “Rashomon.” We could have had focus, fun, adventure. Nope. Doesn’t work.
Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.