That’s it. I’m moving to Seattle…it’s the coolest place in the world. It rains a lot (I like the rain) and there’s wireless internet access and cell phone signal everywhere! Even out on some dirt road by the train tracks. All sarcasm aside, this movie is best at its portrayal of human drama. Not the bad guys. The bad guys were a bunch of crap. I’m talking about how Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford), his wife Beth (Virginia Madsen) and their kids (Carly Schroeder and Jimmy Bennett*) deal with being held hostage. It’s about the human drama involved, it’s not about a plausible story. Bill Cox (Paul Bettany…you know, Jennifer Connelly’s husband?) is a fantastic bad guy and plays evil incredible well, but to me, it was out of proportion.

Spoiler Alert! (place and hold your mouse over the bar to see)

Here’s the problem. Bill got together with his friends one day and said, "Hey I have an idea. Val, you’re good with computers. Let’s steal…oh 100 million dollars from this bank that’s being merged into a bigger bank. It will never be missed in all the merger hustle. Let’s kidnap a bank executive and his family and use them as leverage to get the access we need." Actually, Val probably came to Bill with this scheme and Bill implemented it. But that’s not the point.

The point is that the scheme and the way the movie ends left me with the impression of way too much (the bad guy’s methods) for way too little (100 million dollars). Oh yeah, I just have to mention the two people that I am happy to see in mainstream movies: Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe from 24!) and Vince Vieluf (Matt from Grind). So cool to see Vince again (I haven’t seen him in mainstream films since Grind) and it’s awesome the Mary is getting big work based on her phenomenal performance in 24. But in conclusion, the movie was incredibly well-acted, but the story, while successfully contained in a semi-plausible shell that ties up all the loose ends, isn’t very satisfying. Despite all this, I would still recommend seeing the film. It’s a good thriller and it’s well acted. You just got to suspend a little more disbelief than normal.

* It’s that really smart kid from Hostage! He’s got a good sense of how to act like someone in danger. Wonder if he’s a method actor?

Spoiler Alert! (place and hold your mouse over the bar to see)

I just figured out how to fix the movie. Take Gary (Robert Patrick…you remember…the T-1000) and make him the real mastermind behind the robbery. Key facts in the script that make this work:

  1. Gary in the beginning is talking about shifting bank security from internal security to customer fees;
  2. Gary dislikes Jack because Jack stands in the way of the merger;
  3. Bill Cox initially contacts Harry (Jack’s partner) and Jack about leaving the bank to create their own company (the merger would essentially put them out of a job).

This ties up the loose ends much better than the current ending.

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