Redline / Agent Bedhead
Film Reviews | April 13, 2007 | Comments ()
Redline was produced by Daniel Sadek, who has so much money at his disposal that he financed this movie from $26 million of his own and willingly placed his collection of exotic sports cars into the action sequences. And, since the film was under none of the usual studio constraints, one might expect a particularly kick-ass movie. And to some degree, it is; if you’re into overwrought anthems to greed and the need for speed that not only have their fair share of crashes, but also feature the triple sins of racing, gambling, and scantily-clad womenfolk.
From the opening credits, it is clear that law enforcement is but a trivial matter in this film. The initial sequence features a million-dollar bet between Hollywood moneyman Jerry (Tim Matheson) and the reprehensible counterfeiter Michael (Angus Macfadyen). The two bet that the latter’s nephew, Jason (Jesse Johnson), can’t drive from L.A. to Vegas in an hour and 45 minutes. The obedient nephew sets off in a Mercedes at over 200 mph, and when the radar detector in a police car goes off, the officer casually glances around and doesn’t see the vehicle that’s already disappeared over the horizon, so he smacks the obviously deviant machine and returns to his nap. During a later race scene, a motorcycle cop gets tossed into the back of a pickup truck that he’s just pulled over. The racers are too fast for the law, which is probably why nobody ever calls the cops when all the exciting kidnapping crap goes down.
And the message here is clear — don’t expect reality to enter into this picture. Nothing could echo this sentiment any more than the heroine, Natasha Martin (Nadia Bjorlin), who is the kind of girl that every guy wants. She’s got street smarts, drives like hell, and comes from the Yasmeen Bleeth/Tiffani Amber Thiessen school of brunette, slightly voluptuous hard bodies with a jaw-dropping ass. And she can kick ass under the hood of a car, too, suggesting that long nails and a tire-changing ability are not mutually exclusive.
Another bored millionaire, Infamous (Eddie Griffin), enters the scene and courts Natasha to be his personal race car driver for gambling purposes. The tragedy in Natasha’s past prevents her from accepting this offer, but she and her band sign on as the musical act for the illegal races anyway. Natasha’s band is billed as the “hottest unsigned rock band on the West Coast,” and when they launch into their musical felony, it’s clear why this band is still unsigned — they really, really suck. Infamous brings the band along anyway, not for their musical talent, but because — like every other man in this movie — he wants Natasha.
After the film really gets started, Infamous tosses the unwitting Natasha into a betting pool, and in doing so, he continues the unwritten rule that Eddie Griffin must perform some degree of pimping, either of the literal or figurative sense, in every damn movie he appears in. Griffin may also be the only available actor who could believably land a private jet in the Nevada desert and toss out a misbehaving beyotch along with her luggage and oversized hat. Consider that a warning, disciples.
The other main characters of the film are a mixed bag. Jason (Jesse Johnson) is the pretty boy who gets the ladies, which might be believable if he didn’t also have an awesome case of acne loosely covered by a sheen of Revlon foundation. Older brother Carlo (Nathan Phillips) oozes pure testosterone, and as a matter of convenience, he’s just arrived home from his tour in Iraq to kick some goombah ass and defend his puny little brother. Amazingly, whenever Carlo appears oncreen, some other character gets carjacked or grabassed, and Carlo has no choice but to climb onto his steed and slay the villains. In all fairness, Carlo is the only likable character in the entire movie and his hotness does go a long way toward compensating for Angus Macfadyen’s unwise decision to remove his shirt.
As far as illegal racing movies are concerned, Redline is comparable to The Fast and the Furious, though Redline exchanges the cumbersome plot for a nonexistent one and throws in some hip-hop flava, courtesy of Wyclef Jean’s music score (who also makes the tiniest of cameos). The absence of plot doesn’t really matter, though, because important questions do exist: How did Eddie Griffin really crash a $1.2 million Ferrari Enzo? Will Natasha and her boys end up getting that elusive recording contract? And, most importantly, will Carlo bed Natasha?
For those that don’t give a rat’s ass about plot or a believable storyline and kinda sorta want to see an Enzo Ferrari, Ferrari F430, Ferrari Scaglietti Phantom, Lamborghini Murcielago, and a couple of McLarens, then put yo’ ass in the theater seat. But, consider yourselves cautioned against the disorienting pace of well-varied cleavage, uberfast cars, and an Elvis imitator gone bad.
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma and tries to avoid reality at all costs. She also insults pop culture daily at agentbedhead.com.