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Flanery/Pantoliano ~ Deadly Impact
Joe Pantoliano (Memento, The Matrix) gives a jolt to everything he's in, and Deadly Impact is no exception. Pantoliano plays a mad bomber called the Lion, who takes a personal relish in brutally punishing Tom Armstrong, a cop who gets too close (Sean Patrick Flanery of cult favorite The Boondock Saints). Tom goes to seed in Mexico, but an FBI agent (Carmen Serano, Breaking Bad) lures him to Albuquerque, where the Lion is pulling out all the stops. Deadly Impact is pretty generic, as the bland title might suggest, and Flanery doesn't provide much flavor. But Pantoliano drives the movie forward through sheer nerve. He never pushes or goes for flash (which is surprising, since most of the movie is bending over backward to be intense), yet he's compulsively watchable. Half the time you don't even see him, you just hear his nasal voice, insinuating and ruthless, tossing out threats with blithe efficiency. He's a scary guy precisely because he's not trying to be; he's just got things to do, and if Armstrong gets in his way… well that's too bad. Pantoliano injects everything he does with a sneaky sort of wit, like he's in on a joke that no one else gets. --Bret Fetzer
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This entire lot has to be the most dim-witted "intelligence" officers I've ever seen portrayed in a crime movie.
Sorry -- be warned -- there are spoilers below -- but necessary to show how unintelligent these guys are:
- They repeatedly walk into buildings without checking -- knowing that they're chasing a guy who sets bombs.
- The female lead wanders off by herself after getting a tip about a secret warehouse.
- The male lead believes the villain when he says "put down your gun and I won't shoot you..."
- They can't figure out why a guy who has blown up several other buildings has corralled all law enforcement into the same place.
And on it goes. I found myself rooting for the bad guy out of spite.
I was enjoying this one until they had a character make the most dumb obvious rookie, stupid plot device possible. So for the last 20 minutes of the film I was not happy, especially when they had another character show up and be even dumber.
So I give it a two star for Sean but it really should be a half star because of that last 20 minutes!!!!
Most people that watch movies will only except a certain level of realism, stupid errors from trained professionals, clumsy behavior, reasonable fighting skills, and basic commonsense. I wasn't convinced that anyone at the level of FBI law enforcement would be trained to respond to situations in the manner portrayed in this movie. I can't be convinced that one villain has the resources, intelligence, fighting skills, stealth behavior, mobile tracing ability, and other electronic expert skills to outsmart a top law enforcement agency. Yeah Right! This movie "Exceeds My Commonsense Threshold".
So why remake this type of film? Especially if you're going to cast Sean Patrick Flanery as the cop and Joe Pantoliano as the mad bomber. Pantoliano does a pretty good job, but he's not equal to Hopper or Jones, and Flanery is an even weaker link here. The only real treat is Carmen Serano who plays an FBI agent.
Don't get me wrong. I think Joe Pantoliano is an excellent character actor. He's given memorable performances in "The Sopranos", "The Matrix", "Midnight Run" and others, but his strength is in the character role, not as the leading villain.
Another problem with the film is the lagging direction from Robert Kurtzman. Kurtzman is a distinguished makeup and special effects man who transitioned to producing and directing. This was his 5th film, following "The Rage" (2007), "Buried Alive" (2007), "Wishmaster" (1997), and "The Demolitionist" (1995). Unfortunately the film drags, which is a real problem for an action thriller that already has several good films out there with nearly identical plots.
BTW - the makeup and special effects, especially Pantoliano's makeup and many disguises are quite good, as one might expect given Kurtzman's background.
Another problem comes with the script. There are several flaws, the most noteworthy coming at the very beginning of the film when Pantoliano instructs Flanery to turn out the lights and then fire a rifle, telling him that Pantoliano's cameras are equipped with night sensitive lenses. That may be true, but Flanery is being required to make a very difficult shot, and neither he nor his rifle are equipped with night vision, so once the lights are turned out, he is "in the dark", yet he makes this very difficult shot.
Bottom line - an OK B film, but there are far better out there with similar plots.