Sigourney Weaver plays a producer for "GNN" a 24-hour news channel covering a global war on terror summit. If the name of the network she works for isn't enough to steer you away, what happens in the first 10 minutes should be. While covering the summit in Spain, Weaver and her crew spot a familiar face working in the secret service. "Why didn't we know about this?!? Is anyone else reporting this story?!?" She then urgently orders her subordinate to "pull the archives." When the archives have been "pulled", she insists on seeing them played on screen 2.
The archives in question happen to be footage of Dennis Quaid's character thwarting an assassination of the president by diving between him and the assailant, taking the bullet. The man who pulled the archive then asks if they are going to run it as part of the story that they are currently covering. Weaver shoots him down as if it were the most irresponsible thing in the world, "No, that's in the past. That's not our story. The summit is our story" Well then, and please excuse my language, WHY THE FUCK DID SHE HAVE HIM PULL THE GODDAMN ARCHIVES AT ALL?!?!?!?!? To give us, the viewer, back story? No, because 10 minutes after that, we see Dennis Quaid's character having a reflective moment of the same exact event (which we see, again, through flashback). The actual reason she plays the archive on her screen is so that when Quaid bursts into the GNN trailer to review footage of the events that make up the plot, he sees an image of himself wincing in pain after he saved the president's life years ago. Even still, I don't know why that needed to happen. Other than to show us that he notices the paused image on the screen, Quaids character doesn't miss a beat, he barely acknowledges it.
Why do I bring this up? It's really just an example of how pointless this movie is. The 90 minute runtime needs to be filled with unnecessary fluff stories like the frustrated journalist fed up with being censored, the unwilling accomplice who is only helping the terrorists in order to rescue his brother who is being held hostage. And let's not forget Forrest Whitaker, who is on vacation alone because his marriage is failing. I DON'T CARE. He's allowed to be on vacation by himself, the movie doesn't need to make excuses for him. His personal life has nothing to do with the plot of the film or his motivation for getting involved with whats happening.
All but one of the twists are revealed in the trailer for the movie. I won't say what it is, but not only was I not surprised, I really didn't care. Something that is never revealed is what the terrorists plan actually is. The leader of the terrorists insists that the U.S. President not be killed, but never explains why.
The gimmick of showing the events from eight different points of view in order to give us different clues as to what's going on, would have been a clever one if they had actually given us any clues at all. Instead they show us one persons vantage point right up until just before they reveal the whole shebang. Then they very dramatically slow everything down, stop, and then rewind the events back to the beginning of the movie and start showing someone else's vantage point. They did, however, leave out one crucial POV. They neglected to show the events from the vantage point of the audience who were all having flashbacks to that crucial point in their lives when they decided to go see this redundant dreck.
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