review by Bobby Blakey
Over the last few years Mel Gibson has been popping up in a numerous straight to home media flicks. His latest film, Hot Seat teams him up with Kevin Dillon of Entourage fame alongside Shannen Doherty and Sam Asghari with Fortress, Beyond the Law and Surviving the Game director James Cullen Bressack at the helm. Could this action thriller brings something that stands out to the genre or will it detonate early?
Hot Seat follows IT expert Orlando Friar who finds a hair-trigger bomb strapped to his desk chair. An unseen hacker orders him to steal digital funds online—or have his daughter abducted. As a fearless bomb expert arrives on the scene, the hacker frames Friar as the bomber. The tension mounts as Friar races to clear his name and expose the real terrorist—without getting himself blown to smithereens.
I always keep my expectations low for these kinds of films, but I am a fan of Gibson so always hope this will be that one gem. Sadly this is not it. Right out the gate you are treated to some really bad CGI and sadly doesn’t get much better after that. The story is actually decent and could have made for a great thriller, but the film is littered with forced performances, bad editing and of course the bad effects.
I know a lot of this has to do with the budget of the film and try to let that go. This film looks like something that would have been a made for TV movie on SyFy or something and really wastes the talent that is actually here. Gibson is actually in the film throughout and not just a glorified cameo. He has a mixed
bag of just walking through the motions on some scenes and others looks like he might be enjoying himself. Sadly he is surrounded by some pretty bad performances with the exception of Eddie Steeples of My Name Is Earl, who does what he can with the material.
This is Kevin Dillon’s film all the way and he tries to bring something to it, but too much bad dialogue and clunky storytelling leaves it more of a mess than a success. It is frustrating because the story is not bad and even though the big twist isn’t hard to figure out it still could have made for a fun flick.
In the end it will no doubt work for those that are just fans of these straight to home type of flicks, but just keep the expectations low. Decide for yourself and check out Hot Seat available now on digital, On-Demand, Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.