MOMENTUM

PrintE-mail Written by Fred McNamara

The act of utilising a Morgan Freeman voice-over to introduce your film can now be classed as a cliché of contemporary action flicks. Momentum has the audacity to pull such a move off in its opening scene, and whilst the majority of the film offers plenty of thrills but little in the way of surprises, what small amount of visual gusto Momentum can muster still leaves a bitter aftertaste.

The film tells the story of the military-trained trickster-thief Alexis is brought in to pull off a mysterious heist that goes sour rather too quickly. Perplexed at the purpose of the operation, she becomes a target for a master assassin and must outrun him in order to uncover the truth behind the heist that may take her life.

Back in November, Momentum caused something of a stir when it made a whopping total of £46 on its opening night in the U.K.; with the vast majority of critics quick to pigeonhole the film as a derivative fusion of popcorn-munching thriller and socially-aware government conspiracy. Their criticisms are rather spot on, unfortunately, because although it wants to be a candid commentary on today’s war-mongering culture that comes complete with Ebola references (well, jokes really. Jokes in rather bad taste, to boot), its uninspired blend of tired stock characters and run-of-the-mill script fails to set things alight.

However, the insipid nature can’t be put down to a lack of enthusiasm in certain areas. The story itself moves along at a brisk, easy-going pace, as former Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko’s Alexis gallops through hotels, studio flats and abandoned warehouses in order to avoid being assassinated, all of which are given a murky cinematography that sadly do nothing to lift it out of the sloppy dirge it finds itself in for roughly 90 minutes. James Purefoy’s villain fares no better, and talks with a lot of swaggering menace, but can’t radiate any sense of genuine tension for our heroine’s actions.

And then there’s Morgan Freeman himself, only popping up at intermediate moments throughout the film. It’s as if he was lured into the film, thinking it would be a swell flick to join in with, but then he actually read the script cover to cover, and requested his ultimate contribution to be only a handful of fleeting appearances.

As a Hollywood blockbuster made to knock your socks off, Momentum fails to live up to its grandiose title, but even as a B-movie, it still can’t muster any sort of indie charm to it. Right down to the blank performances from the film’s stars, which imply that they themselves are dulled by everything going on around them, Momentum lacks any sort of solid punch in just about every area. An unfortunate misfire that struggles to redeem itself.

MOMENTUM / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: STEPHEN S. CAMPANELLI / SCREENPLAY: ADAM MARCUS, DEBRA SULLIVAN / STARRING: OLGA KURYLENKO, MORGAN FREEMAN, JAMES PUREFOY / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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