Catch a Fire (Noyce, 2006)

A frightfully straightforward political thriller from the usually reliable Philip Noyce (The Quiet American, Patriot Games), infected by a plague of medicority in every department, even down to the obvious title. The material covered, i.e. government oppression, torture turning regular citizens into militants, and families torn apart, has been examined with far more impact elsewhere, as recently as Michael Winterbottom’s The Road to Guantanamo. Stars Tim Robbins and Derek Luke remarkably hold some water with one-note roles, but overall their strong presence can’t help the film from reveling in it’s lack of ambition both stylistically and thematically. Basically, defines tedious, safe “grown up” filmmaking, which to me is just as bad as a horrendous big budget action film.

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