Momentum took a little bit of time before it enticed me in, but once it had, it provided an engaging, if daft, way of spending 90 minutes or so.
It begins with a bank raid orchestrated by masked men – and one woman, Alex (Olga Kurylenko – Quantum Of Solace, Oblivion) – suited up in ridiculous Splinter Cell-cum-autoerotic-asphyxiation-style black rubber suits with LED lights including more voice-activated lights as they mumble through muffled voice synthesizer, but they are NOT Batman. Or even Sexy Batman. And thanks to Signature Entertainment not bothering to give us subtitles, I can’t understand half of what they’re saying.
After they escape, the plan is to lay low for 30 days before distributing the proceeds… yet somehow, to the single white female, that includes blowing up the getaway van in a public place(!)
After an engaging car chase with some hilarious reversing of said vehicle in a car park – which gives one example of a fair few scenes in this movie which have reasonable split-surround SFX effects as well as the swirly effects in a bank’s vault authentication system, we get arty shots of Olga’s bum before James Purefoy‘s character turns up, whose character is given the name of Mr Washington, yet may as well be called “Smarmy Evil Mr Big”, especially since in one scene, he even tread’s on a six-year-old boy’s head!
That said, like his name, all of his accomplices are ‘Mr’ this and ‘Ms’ that.
Momentum is a film that bucks the usual trend by getting better the more it goes on. I wouldn’t want any longer than this, as it would outstay its welcome, but it’s well-structured and, at one point, when Purefoy thinks he’s sussed Olga’s attempts to outwit him, he counters, “I’ve seen this in too many movies”. I initially figured the same would apply to this, but while it won’t WOW you with originality, it’s a lot more fun than most action films.
There’s a lot of decent punching and violence, particularly from Ms Clinton, played by the voluptuous So You Think You Can Dance finalist Shelley Nicole, who could kick James Bond’s ass any day of the week. In fact, there’s more action, punch-ups and smackdowns in this than in both Skyfall and Spectre put together! There’s also a lot of wisecracks, even daft ones such as when Purefoy’s coat catches fire. Rather than quickly smack out the flame, he bemoans, “I liked that coat”.
And when Olga’s leg is put in a vice, we get an exchange where he says “Another turn and your leg is going to be two-dimensional”, and she replies: “That’s one more than your personality(!)” Yes, we know the actress isn’t really in danger of being hurt that way, but I was still wincing throughout the scene.
There’s also a weird moment around 55 mins in, when there’s an OAP with a zimmerframe walking along the road, approaching a red car… who suddenly disappears. #continuity
The only real downside to this film is in its meaningless and forgettable title. Well, actually, there’s two. The usually reliable Morgan Freeman clearly just turned up to collect the cheque, putting in a mere five minutes of screen time in total and getting nothing extraneous to do, never actually spending screen time with any other main cast members, so I’d be surprised if he even met any of them during the making of the film!
Oh, a third thing – there’s a woeful amount of chapters. Most studios try to stiff us on a mere 12 throughout a film’s running time. With Momentum, we get SIX!!!
Well, four. There are zero extras, a static menu and no subtitles. However, the film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and you’d be surprised if it was not a top-notch transfer for a brand new film. There are no issues with it whatsoever. For the record, I watched this on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma TV.
But, like I said, while it’s far from original, it’s also a lot of fun and doesn’t take itself at all seriously once it gets going. In addition, there’s a lot of fast cutting in the early driving scene, but the director makes it work, unlike Camille Delamarre in The Transporter Refuelled where the fast cutting detracted rather than added, because they were done very poorly.
Running time: 96 minutes
Studio: Signature Entertainment
Released: January 18th 2016
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Stephen S Campanelli
Producers: Donald A Barton and Anton Ernst
Screenplay: Adam Marcus and Debra Sullivan
Music: Laurent Eyquem
Alex Farraday: Olga Kurylenko
Mr Washington: James Purefoy
Ms Clinton: Shelley Nicole
Mr Jefferson: Richard Lothian
Mr Monroe: Greg Kriek
Mr Madison: Hlomla Dandala
Mr Childress : Sascha Rasmussen
Senator: Morgan Freeman
Senator’s Associate: Marian Frizelle
Penny: Lee-Anne Summers
Jessica: Jenna Saras
Doug MacArthur: Karl Thaning
Senator’s Wife: EM Fredric
Kevin Fuller: Colin Moss
Matthew Fuller: Kingsley Pearson
Black Hat: Dylan Edy
Lisa: Lisa Leonard
Newscaster: Sabine Palfi
Frank: Aidan Whytock
Amphetamine: Daniel Fox
Ray Kelly: Brendan Murray
Bank Manager: Joe Vaz
Little girl: Lee Raviv
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.