(Published in City Express, The New Indian Express, on 18 August 2012, http://newindianexpress.com/entertainment/reviews/article591118.ece)
Cast: Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, Verónica Echegui, Roschdy Zem and others
Director: Mabrouk El Mechri
Rating: 1 star
You know these road signs put up by our friendly traffic police that tell you using mobile phones while driving is dangerous? Spain should have those. In the sea. Because the plot of this entire film revolves around Will Shaw’s (Henry Cavill’s) obsession with his mobile phone. That is, until his father Martin (Bruce Willis) flings it into the sea.
Wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Will, who seems to be disillusioned with life and his livelihood, lands up at a family get-together in Spain. Why Spain? Because his Papa has a government job. This apparently pays well enough to take his entire family, including less-attractive-son’s pretty girlfriend out to sea on a sailboat. But not enough to conduct timely repairs on the boat.
Now, because Will is obsessed with his phone, and has been on it since the previous evening, he pays more attention to texting than steering, when Martin asks him to look after the boat so that Martin himself is free to climb a pole. Why you would climb a pole when you have three younger people on board who can do it, I don’t know.
Naturally, when the camera focuses by turns on the wheel, the mobile phone, and the sunbathing bikini-clad girlfriend, you know there’s going to be an accident. When it happens, for some reason, it is deemed right that someone from the family should swim to the shore to fetch a doctor, who I assume, would swim along too.
What unfolds over the next hour or so will convince you of the following:
- Women with foreign accents are usually nice
- Men with foreign accents are usually agents
- Secretive men are usually agents
- There’s no such thing as a well-paying government job
- Not everything is as simple as it looks
- When you’ve got your family into too much crap, you’re best off dying before your wife can divorce you
- CIA jobs are hereditary
Like all good Americans, Will Shaw heads to the embassy when he needs help. Like all nasty Americans, the folks at the embassy refuse to help him. Like all good partners, Jean Carrick (Sigourney Weaver) materialises. Like all hot women, Lucia Caldera (Verónica Echegui) materialises.
Unknown director Mabrouk El Mechri then brings in bad Israelis, symbolised by Zahir (Roschdy Zem). The name reminded me of Paulo Coelho, which didn’t do the film or the character any favours. The long chase sequences then serve as a tour of Madrid, before the film teeters to a predictably soppy end.
The Verdict: Unless you’re against mobile phones, sailboats and logic, don’t bother watching this.