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(Review originally written at 6 December 2008)

Problem with these type of movies is that literally dozens of them are being made each year. Luckily for use only a handful are given a theatrical release, while the others are being pushed straight to video or TV, such as this movie.

The foremost problem of this movie is really its originality. It's one of those movies which uses the "Die Hard" formula of a tough but troubled guy being at the wrong place at the wrong time. In this case it's a character played by Casper Van Dien, who works for a security agency that thoroughly test safety procedures for companies and individuals. In this case he's being send to a cruise ship, which of course gets hijacked. You can see this movie as a sort of mix of "Die Hard" and "Air Force One" and the movie doesn't even try to conceal that those two movies were probably its biggest source of 'inspiration'. So really, you can't regard this movie as an original one at all. It uses all of the clich├ęs out of the book and this movie really doesn't offer any surprises or anything that remotely resembles anything original.

Like you can expect from a movie such as this, it has a very weak script. Or rather said, it features some very lazy writing. Like I said before, the movie features nothing original but also the actual story itself features some elements which are far from likely and are just plain ridicules truthfully. I mean, hijacking an huge cruise ship with only about 8 guys, of which halve only carry some small guns and then ask for a ransom of 'only' 10 million dollars, for a ship that is about worth 10 times that amount is itself already quite ridicules. How do they even intend to split that money afterward? Every person gets just over a million or something? That's hardly profitable for such a big and risky undertaking. And then there is the case of taking the passengers hostage. Somehow they manage to take all passengers on the huge ship hostage and they manage to put them inside one room, with only one guy with his pistol, which he can't even seem to be able to hold right, watching them. You never see more than like 30 hostages however, as if they were all the people who were aboard at the time. Also when the Van Dien character goes looking for his son and vice versa, no matter which room they walk in through on the huge cruise ship, they always bump into each other instantly. Just some examples of the lazy writing within the movie.

But it of course is an action flick, so the story of course becomes secondary. But then again, it's not as if this movie features any good action at all. Halve of the actors look as if they had never hold a weapon before and the movie is filled with some ridicules slow-motion. It really becomes laughable at points.

Of course the movie also doesn't feature the best actors, though I must say that Casper Van Dien really isn't a bad 'action hero' and actor, as far as the genre and B-movie circuit is concerned. He just however also suffers from the same problem as Tom Cruise; no matter how old he is, he just never looks convincing enough to play the father of a teenager. Van Dien once started out as a promising new young actor but starring in movies like this really doesn't help his career much. He's probably capable of something better, though he is never really given the right opportunity to show it. All of the other actors also do a fair enough job but their characters are just so formulaic that they never truly become interesting.

Oh well, it's not the worst genre movie I have ever seen but it also ain't exactly the most original or memorable one either.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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