ON THE LINE
(director/writer: Romuald Boulanger; cinematographer: Xavier Castro; editor: Pierre-Marie Croquet; music: Clement Perin ; cast: Mel Gibson (Elvis Cooney), Alia Seror-O’Neill (Mary), William Mosely (Dylan), Kevin Dillon (Justin), John Robinson (Noam), Paul Spera (Gary, James), Nadia Farès (Sam Dubois), Enrique Arce (Tony), Yoli Fuller (Steven), Nancy Tate (Olivia), Ravin J. Ganatra (Bob Hemavatinandan), Robbie Nock (Policeman), Romy Pointet (Adria), Carole Weyers (herself); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Romuald Boulanger, Robert Ogden Barnum, James Cooney, Marc Frydman; Saban Films; 2022)
“As much as I dislike Gibson, he’s not the reason the film smells like a bomb.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The French TV director-writer Romuald Boulanger (“Connectés”) helms this ridiculous American ‘race against the clock’ thriller (set in L.A. but made in France), that stars the on the downfall controversial anti-Semitic actor Mel Gibson.
Elvis Cooney (Mel Gibson) is a crass shock-jock overnight radio host, whose shtick is insulting callers. While on the air the irate caller, Gary (Paul Spera), tells him that he has kidnapped his wife Olivia (Nancy Tate) and young daughter Adria (Romy Pointet), and threatens to kill them if he doesn’t stay on the line and that he’ll also blow up the building that houses the station.
It’s all about an affair Elvis supposedly had with his former girlfriend, who committed suicide after Elvis jilted her.
At the station with Elvis are his producer Mary (Alia Seror-O’Neill) and new engineer Dylan (William Moseley). Also present is Justin (Kevin Dillon), a host from an earlier program, and someone Elvis detests because he wants his perceived better earlier time slot.
Things get messy when Elvis becomes aware the hostages are in the building, and the psycho has killed Bob (Ravin J. Ganatra), the security guard. Police and the bomb-squad have arrived, as the nutcase has wired the building with explosives. But the police presence only makes things worse.
The film is just a bad one until the climax reaches out for several implausible twists and the film falls into deplorable territory, where only the really bad thrillers land.
As much as I dislike Gibson, he’s not the reason the film smells like a bomb–the fault is with the lame script by Boulanger.
REVIEWED ON 11/15/2022 GRADE: C-