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Redline (A Movie Review)

REDLINE (2007)

Starring Nadia Bjorlin, Nathan Phillips, Eddie Griffin, Tim Matheson, Angus MacFadyen, Jesse Johnson, Denyce Lawton, Neill Skylar, Barbara Niven, Marc Crumpton, Hal Ozsan, Christopher Backus, Kevin Levrone and Todd Lowe.

Screenplay by Robert Foreman.

Directed by Andy Cheng.

Distributed by Chicago Releasing. 93 minutes. Rated PG-13.

There is no point in trying to look at Redline critically. It's a complete waste of time. Redline thumbs its nose at artistic film conventions. The movie is a piece of turn-your-mind-off filmmaking. It's all about the fast and the superficial. Either you'll like it or not. Deal with it.

The guys of Redline are super rich, selfish, and generally vain and stupid. The machines are hard, fast, tight, and stunning works of art – and that's just the girls.

Wait until you get a load of the cars.

Redline is a guy's super-charged sports-car fantasy revved up to 200 MPH.

It's a movie for every guy who has ever seen a Lamborghini or a Ferrari and thought, "Wow, what would it be like to get behind the wheel of that?" It fulfills the need (or at least curiosity) of people who crave cars which cost significantly more than most people's homes.

Redline is centered around a supposedly burgeoning sub-culture of high-performance street racers where a group of guys with too much time on their hands and money in their accounts race their million-dollar sports cars through crowded city streets or tracks.

I say supposedly because there seem to be only four of these tycoons at each race – a movie producer (Tim Matheson), a rap impresario (Eddie Griffin), some Japanese businessman who gets no actual lines but mimes emoting every time he loses and an obviously unhinged organized crime-type (Angus MacFadyen).

Dragged into the world is Natasha, a stunningly beautiful singer and high-end car mechanic. Turns out she is also a kick-ass driver, learning at the feet of her racer dad before watching him die in a fiery crash. Because of this experience she has given up driving professionally, however you know it's not going to be that hard to get her back behind the wheel.

Natasha is played by Nadia Bjorlin, formerly of the soap Days of Our Lives, and she does fine with what little she is given to do. Still, I'd like to see what she could do with a less hackneyed script.

If you liked The Fast and the Furious, you'll probably enjoy Redline. In fact, they are essentially the same movie, only Redline has a hot woman in an unending series of cleavage-baring outfits as the lead. The plot is beyond stupid, and the dialogue often sputters in ways that the fine-tuned machines the characters are driving never would. (i.e., "If you're going to do this, don't do it for the money. Don't do it for us. Do it because it's what you were born to do.")

However, considering little things like plot and character development is missing the point. Well, perhaps I'm letting the filmmakers off the hook a bit, a film like Redline could potentially be done with those filmmaking techniques as concerns, and it would be a much better movie for it.

The thing is though, they deliver the goods that their target audience requires; gorgeous fast cars, gorgeous fast women, high speed races, fights, lots of money, a little dumb humor, and a minimum of deep thought.

I'll never lie to you and say that Redline is a good film. Far from it. However, it essentially achieves what it sets out to do.

Stupid fun, perhaps. But you can't deny that Redline is fun.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2007 All rights reserved. Posted: August 18, 2007.

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