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.
Performances – Mario 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.
Story – The 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.
Thriller – This is a hostage situation movie, which does have tense moments through the film which sees Gomez trying to control everything.
Settings – The 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.
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.