- 4 Jun 2021
- 2,085 (3.77/day)
This tense Sky Original action movie made in Australia and starring Michelle Monaghan only has a 4.3 IMDB rating, but don't let that fool you, it's much better than that and I enjoyed it. I'm feeling lazy right now, so here's what it's about, from IMDB:
A group of officers in a labyrinthine top-secret prison must fight for their lives against Hatchet, a brilliant and infamous high-value detainee. When he escapes, his mysterious and deadly agenda has far-reaching and dire consequences.
I liked the storyline, the setting and the action and the fact it's a fairly shallow film. I really don't care for lots of character development and weepy emotional moments. OMG what are they going to do about their child's future! I don't care!! I see enough of that crap on 9-1-1, which after five seasons of this irritation mixed in with the many good action scenes, I'm considering giving up on, but that's another story.
There's a but though, there's always a but, lol. What let it down were the technical aspects of the movie, namely the special effects. If you watch it, be prepared for them to look distinctly low budget and not very realistic. This is something that one expects them to get right nowadays, even in lower budget movies which this clearly is. I think this issue let the film down quite badly, so I therefore only give it a 7.0 rating, a one point drop. It did have a decent ending though - so important that a movie leaves me feeling at least reasonably satisfied. I drop a lot of points for crap endings and often regret having watched it.
Underneath the spoiler tag, I describe some of those issues and other things, but they also spoil the plot, so only view it if you've watched the film, don't care about spoiling the plot, or are not going to watch it.
- When Abby Trent blows up the main doors to escape the complex, the explosion looks really fake, like a cheap 1970s special effect. The way the doors were "broken" afterwards was clearly not from blast damage. Surprising how poorly done this was, in fact
- The attack drone looked, behaved and sounded like a small model, rather than the real thing that's several metres wide
- When the drone destroyed the complex, it only fired one of its four missiles. For such a huge complex built into a mountain and also going deep underground there's no way that's going to take it out. Likely only the main doors and that ground floor. Even a nuke isn't likely to completely destroy it given its depth and reinforced construction
- When Abby was running through the desert and now a good mile or two away from the smoking ruins, it was obvious that she was in a studio and the background was just that, a projected background likely added using a green screen. The lighting and dynamics were all wrong
- The explosion caused by the bomb which blew up the server room was totally unrealistic and it looked like some low yield pyrotechnics blew up a cheap set, which I'll bet is exactly what it was
- The usual stupid plot points like a single point of failure for external comms when Hatchet opens a wall mounted cabinet and smashes the electronics inside. There were inevitably a handful of these throughout the movie which one usually sees in action movies like this, unfortunately
- There was a decent twist - it was an inside job, although I did suspect that
- The film ending set it up nicely for a sequel. I hope they make one and give it a bigger budget
Black Site: Directed by Sophia Banks. With Jason Clarke, Michelle Monaghan, Jai Courtney, Pallavi Sharda. A group of officers in a labyrinthine top-secret prison must fight for their lives against Hatchet, a brilliant and infamous high-value detainee. When he escapes, his mysterious and deadly...
Only watch this if you like melodrama laid on thick. It's pretty good otherwise, though.
9-1-1: Notruf L.A.: Created by Brad Falchuk, Tim Minear, Ryan Murphy. With Angela Bassett, Peter Krause, Oliver Stark, Aisha Hinds. Explores the high-pressure experiences of the first responders who are thrust into the most frightening, shocking, and heart-stopping situations.