Dir: David Mamet
Star: Val Kilmer, Derek Luke, Tia Texada, Kristen Bell

This starts off feeling like a feature-length edition of 24, Kilmer playing government agent Robert Scott whose credo is, "by any means necessary", brought in when the President's daughter goes missing. Then, her body turns up, and the case is over...or is it? When his rookie partner (Luke) comes to him with evidence suggesting otherwise, and is then shot dead, Scott is on the hunt once more, this time as a lone wolf. He discovers a murky web of political and familial shenanigans where things and people are not what they seem - no surprise to anyone who knows David Mamet's work.

Having last seen Kilmer all tubercular and haggard in Tombstone, it was odd to see him beefed-up, and downright scary to note a strange resemblance to John Travolta. After a solid start, this peters out in the second half, with disappointingly little in the way of Mamet's sharp dialogue. Despite some intelligent touches that lift it above the mindless level of a Van Damme movie, and more towards Tom Clancy territory, it isn't up to much as an actioner, though it has a pleasantly cynical attitude towards politics and politicians. However, there remain a number of significant questions which weren't answered and - as mentioned - if you've seen Jack Bauer on the job, you'll hardly be surprised by any of the twists and turns.

Mar 2004

Gooooooo, Spartans!
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