Momentum

"OK"

Momentum Review


With a plot so thin that it's barely there, this sleek South African action thriller is surprisingly entertaining simply because the cast is allowed to chomp merrily on the scenery as they try to torment and kill each other. And even though the film's tone is relentless machismo, this is a rare thriller with a female leading character. So there's a bit of attitude and wry humour to undermine the otherwise sadistic violence.

It opens in Cape Town with a ludicrously over-planned bank heist that goes wrong simply because the robbers are all hothead thugs. The gang leader is Alex (Olga Kurylenko), and her clash with one of her cohorts leaves her team in disarray. She's also on the run from Mr. Washington (James Purefoy), the viciously swaggering henchman of top American boss the Senator (Morgan Freeman). It quickly becomes clear that Washington isn't trying to recover the diamonds stolen from the bank vault; he wants a mysterious memory stick instead. After Alex turns to a cohort (Brendan Murray) and a former love-rival (Lee-Anne Summers) for help, she leads Washington on a spectacularly grisly cat and mouse chase across the city.

Cameraman-turned-director Stephen Campanelli certainly knows how to make a movie that looks achingly cool. There isn't a moment when anyone moves or speaks like a normal human being: they strut, pose, shout, leer, scowl and taunt. And of course they all look great doing it. Kurylenko is a steely presence at the centre of the action, with a character intriguing enough to hold the interest even if Campanelli hadn't forced her to do most of her biggest scenes in a state of undress. Purefoy is clearly having a great time deliciously playing with his character's verbose speeches and grisly actions. And even Freeman gets to chew on some scenery in his few scenes.

Still, it's difficult to engage with a movie that's this superficial. There isn't a hint of subtext anywhere, which leaves the film feeling like it's got nothing at all on its mind. Sure, there are some nice plot turns, lively action and energetic performances, but they seem about as important to the movie as the whizzy camerawork, crashing editing style and elaborate stuntwork. And without even a whiff of an underlying point, everything about the movie feels gratuitous. So while it's snappy, funny and grisly enough to keep us entertained, it's also utterly forgettable. Except as a calling card for the visual skills of Campanelli, who clearly wants a big Hollywood job next.



Momentum

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th October 2015

Budget: $20M

Production compaines: Thaba Media, Azari Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Stephen Campanelli

Producer: Anton Ernst, Donald A Barton

Starring: as Senator, as Alex Farraday, as Mr. Washington, Sabine Palfi as Newscaster, Karl Thaning as Doug MacArthur, Dylan Edy as Black Hat, Lee-Anne Summers as Penny, Grant Roberts as Secret Service Agent, as Amphetamine

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