[MOVIE REVIEW]Not Exactly the Cutting EdgeIf you watch the first 10 minutes of this film, you've essentially seen it all. The opening bank robbery is full of sleek action sequences; a system of hundreds of cameras has impressively captured vivid explosions.
The magic does not sustain itself for the remaining 87 minutes. Though the director Dominic Sena tries to thrill the viewers with an orgy of action, the film will certainly not satisfy everyone's intellect. Sena, a well-known TV commercial and music video director, is clearly happy to remain an all-action director, as was also exhibited by the extravagant car chases in his "Gone in 60 Seconds."
This time, Sena again uses his favorite crunch time － 60 seconds. This is all Gabriel (John Travolta) allows Stanley (Hugh Jackman) to prove that he is a major league hacker and up to a robbery of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Gabriel needs Stanley to back his "patriotic" plans; he aims to steal a large sum of money and use it to terrorize the terrorists － international figures who threaten American lives. Stanley is a computer whiz, now living unhappily in a run-down trailer after trying to break in to the FBI's computer system. He desperately needs money to gain custody of his daughter from his ex-wife, and agrees to hack into the DEA's computer where as much as $9.5 billion awaits them. Stanley reluctantly participates － out of desperation.
Gabriel is a fan not only of money, but of movies as well. He is enthralled when discussing the 1975 film "Dog Day Afternoon," criticizing its lack of realism, as Al Pacino's character did not shoot any hostages in his bank robbery attempt. Gabriel, as a spokesman for the director, continues evaluating movies, especially audiences' need for happy endings. Sena seems to have succeeded in making his new film more visually realistic, but he has not fashioned a plausible plot. At the end, Sena skips several steps in making the pieces suddenly all fall into place. Viewers are left wondering what happened. Sena should have known that this kind of indistinct ending without persuasive support from the plot is more perplexing than satisfying.
Those who wish to remember Travolta in his trim years as a first-rate dancer should skip this one. Travolta is still stylish as a hero, but now too heavy to be the dashing heartthrob. Jackman looks good, but not as magnificent as Halle Berry starring as Ginger, who will tantalize audiences with her scantily-clad form.
by Chun Su-jin