film reel image

film reel image

Monday, July 8, 2024

On the Line 2022 * * 1/2 Stars


2022's On the Line is directed by mostly TV guy, Romuald Boulanger. As a film about a shock jock who gets tormented by a psycho caller looking to kill his whole family, "Line" shows that Boulanger had a vision and that vision was to make an inferior version of 2021's The Guilty coupled with a better version of Oliver Stone's Talk Radio. Oh and helmer Boulanger also thought he'd throw in an ending to On the Line that was similar to David Fincher's thriller The Game. Uh, did you get all that?

Anyway "Line" takes place LA, with pretty much one set location and claustrophobic mischief to boot. Yeah it's a compact flick, starting off lean and mean with a solidly tense musical score from Clement Perin and first hour tightness that would make Antoine Fuqua sort of golf clap in the background. On the Line's star, well it's Mel Gibson as radio monger Elvis Cooney and for the most part, Mel's performance is fairly hyper and disciplined (in a good way). Gibson, well you don't see him much in theaters anymore but he's still appearing in any ready-made streaming service (take your pick). He's you know, hanging around cause the dude's got "alligator blood". Natch. 

So yeah, On the Line has decent acting, clean editing, and director Boulanger with limited holdings, trying to somewhat keep you guessing (until he doesn't). Now do I plan on recommending "Line?" Uh, not quite. The film would work better if it was more straightforward, a sort of stagecraft showcase for Gibson in the whole, "mild-mannered family man goes rogue in order to protect his brood" genre. Instead, On the Line adds root out twist upon root out twist near the end, trying to readily get its M. Night on. I mean it's like the Elvis character and any sense of dramatic momentum has left the building (pun intended). Dropped "line".  

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment