Gene Watson is a public accountant who arrives on a train at Union Station in Los Angeles, accompanied by his 6-year-old daughter Lynn. Because of his ordinary looks, he is approached by a pair of sinister people named Smith and Jones. Pretending to be cops, Smith and Jones kidnap Lynn and confront Gene with a simple choice -- kill California governor Eleanor Grant in 90 minutes or less, or Lynn will die. Watson is given a gun, six bullets, and a name tag, and he is told to go to the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and kill Eleanor, who is giving an afternoon speech. While Jones is watching Lynn in a van, Smith watches Watson in order to prevent Watson from alerting the authorities. Watson must quickly find some way to get himself and Lynn out of this seemingly impossible situation. Written by
The bulk of the movie was shot almost entirely hand-held, using combinations of multi-camera and Steadicam set-ups. Even during the few actual dolly tracking sequences, the camera was hand-held, and operated from a dolly by a seated cameraman. See more »
At the end of the film, Johnny Depp's character falls into the lobby pool, then seconds later exits to the sidewalk but is not wet. See more »
[Mr. Watson hears the train conductor shoutout to the Amtrak travelers]
Los Angeles is next! Los Angeles is next! Please check under your seats.
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A good if far fetched premise makes this movie oddly watchable.
An young accountant Gene Wilson (Johnny Deep) arrived at L.A.'s Union Station with his daughter (Courtney Chase). From the moment, they arrived, two mysterious strangers (Oscar-Winner:Christopher Walken and Roma Maffia) separate him from his daughter. One of them proposed Gene to assassinate a government official (Marsha Mason) or else, they will murder his daughter.
Directed by John Badham (The Hard Way, Short Circuit, Stakeout) made an entertaining, clever if barely believable. suspense thriller that was filmed in "real time". Which it doesn't always paid off, especially the director used endless close-up of clocks. Which does at times makes this movie claustrophobic but not enough. This was one of the major box office flops and critical disappointments of 1995. But the picture plays surprisingly better on video and went on to have a sort of a cult following years later.
DVD has an fine anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer and an good-Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD's only extra is the theatrical trailer. What makes this flawed movie watchable is a game cast, sometimes amusing dark sense of humour and a few good moments of genuine suspense. But at times, the film nearly falls apart from the unlikely false plot moment near the third act and an unsatisfying conclusion. Despite all this, this is a well directed picture that certainly worth a look of this truly real mixed bag film. Written by Patrick Sheane Duncan (Courage Under Fire, A Home of Our Own, Mr. Holland's Opus). (*** ½/*****).
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