A Clear Shot (2020) Movie Review

Director: Nick Leisure

Writer: Nick Leisure (Screenplay)

Starring: Mario Van Peebles, Mandela Van Peebles, Jessica Meza, Marshal Hilton, David Fernandez Jr, Lance Wood, Michael Balin, Hao Do

Plot: An electronic store erupts into chaos as four gunmen storm the premises. Rick Gomez, Sacramento Police Departments’ top negotiator, realizes he needs to talk down the gunmen and keep everyone safe, all while juggling government politics. The gunmen leader doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but his brother is a different story. A peaceful surrender quickly turns this sleepy city into a national tragedy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense Thriller

Story: A Clear Shot starts when Loi (Do) leads a group of Vietnamese gunmen into an electronics store to hold the customers and employee’s hostage. Gomez (Mario Van Peebles) is called into be the negotiator as he looks for a peaceful solutions where he gets Kappy (Hilton) on his shoulder for a more aggressive approach, with the Sheriff Todd (Balin) letting his SWAT teams prepare to breach.

As the situation starts getting more intense, Gomez must look to retain the power in the situation, as we learn the motivation behind the Loi’s actions, leading us to a highly tension conclusion to the situation.

Thoughts on A Clear Shot

Characters – Gomez is the negotiator assigned to the situation, he has a calm demeaner which will give him a chance to talk to the criminal in charge, he must learn who he can trust both on the inside and the outside, surrounding himself with the strongest helping make his job easier, where he will need to pull out all of the tricks to stay on top of the situation. Kappy is the second to Gomez, he does give him advice with different ideas of what he could do, but will stand by his decisions through the situation, Advencula is a cop that also works with Gomez from the street side of everything. Loi is the lead hostage taker who does have a reason for what they are doing, which gives us a reason to get sympathy towards him.

PerformancesMario Van Peebles in the leading role works very well as the negotiator, as he shows the calm persona required through the film. Marshal Hilton is entertaining to watch, giving us a few lighter moments through the situation, with Hao Do and Tony Dew being the highlight of the criminals.

StoryThe story here follows a hostage situation that sees the control of power need to be obtained by a negotiator from both inside and outside of the situation to save the hostages before it is too late. This story is based on a real event and does show how the situation can be calmly handled, rather than be all guns blazing approach. We are given a reason to understand why the hostage takers are committing their action, see how the different police are trying to play a card they believe is best. We even get to see how the different hostages are trying to operate, though one doesn’t seem to get the true impact as to what happens to them and also struggles to show us quite what happens when everything is all set and done.

ThrillerThis is a hostage situation movie, which does have tense moments through the film which sees Gomez trying to control everything.

SettingsThe film uses the electronics store interior and exterior as the main settings, it is everything you would expect, only it does looks too new to be an existing location.


Scene of the Movie – Meeting at the door.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The showdown isn’t as clear as it could have been.

Final Thoughts This is an entertaining thriller that does show the difficulties of trying to maintain control of a situation which could spiral out of control.

Overall: Entertaining.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – R – Rough Stuff (2017) Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Adams

Writer: Jonathan Adams (Screenplay)

Starring: Gareth Rickards, Vincent Andriano, Sam Glissan, Katie Garfield, Jamie Kristian, Hayley Sullivan, Adam Horner

Plot: An activist group makes a deal with treasure-seeking Rovers and their modified four-wheel-drives for an expedition through treacherous Australian terrain. Tensions rise and ulterior motives are revealed with exciting off-road chases, daring rescues and amazing discoveries to follow.


Tagline – No Roads. No Worries.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Adventure 101

Story: Rough Stuff starts as three treasure seekers Buzz (Rickards), Abe (Andriano) and Scraps (Glissan) agree to help an activist group containing, Skye (Garfield), Eric (Kristian), Tom (Horner) and Tori (Sullivan) to travel across the Australian outback in search for the treasure, while the activists are searching for a place for their campaign.

As the group are on their journey they find themselves being hunted down by a bounty hunter, which adds the intensity to the adventure and chase across the outback.

Thoughts on Rough Stuff

Characters – Buzz, Abe and Scraps are rovers that travel around the outback searching for treasure, they get themselves in trouble more often than not, which sees them agreeing to work with the activists that are travelling around the outback, they know how the survive the conditions and know how the avoid capture from the ruthless Ranger. Tori, Tom, Skye and Eric are activists that are looking to go out to the outback to film a video which will spread their message, while not all of them are as trustworthy as the rovers are being told about.

PerformancesThe performances in the film aren’t the most convincing, with most of the being filled into the generic, with the rovers being typical outback figures, while the activists just feel like they are made to be hippies.

StoryThe story follows treasure hunters and activists that reluctantly team up to take down a corrupt plan to destroy the popular outback that has been part of the history for years, while trying to find the treasure that is only part of myth. This isn’t the most entertaining story, it tries to keep changing the character’s mindsets through the film which just doesn’t connect with the characters through the film. It does have moments which could have been a lot more fun then they come off, because that does seem to be the plan here too.

AdventureThe adventure side of the film is mostly following the race around the outback, which puts our characters on an adventure which will help them make it through the events of the film.

SettingsThe film is set in the outback, which is a great beautiful backdrop to everything we are seeing the film.


Scene of the Movie – The chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many characters decision changes.

Final Thoughts This is an adventure film that tries to do a lot more than it needs to, which only takes away from the fun it wants to be having.

Overall: Simple adventure film.