44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out (2003)
USA / English
"The most intense shoot-out in LAPD history
"After a failed bank robbery, two heavily armed men hold the Los Angeles Police Department at bay for 44 minutes.
Does this movie deserve this high rating?
Contrary to my principles, let me first come up with a conclusion,
because I have just seen this piece of "art", and still am under strong
impressions. The reader is asked to excuse my stronger vocabulary.
Well, this movie is absolutely horrible, and I would never bother to
write a single word about it, if it were not for the fact that "44
Minutes" made me sick to death, which rarely happens to me. The fact
that I paid for that does not exactly makes me feel better, as well as
the fact the movie deserved the high user rating here.
So what is wrong with the movie? It has a fashionable title - "44
Minutes". One first thinks about "15 Minutes", which is by the way a
much better movie, but still bad in my book, and indeed the two can be
compared to some extent. But, as luck would have it, the things they
share are their worst characteristics. They both feature Mr. Oleg
Taktarov, who with his strong Russian accent obviously meets the
popular expectations and prejudices. His purpose is to appeal to the
Cold War mind. Ah, do we miss the good old times. Now, I don't imply
that he is a bad actor, I am yet to judge his true performance, but he
is simply not a true individual here, he is more like an archetype. How
anyone can still indulge in such things is completely beyond my
comprehension. We can recognize modern American xenophobia here. The
point in the movie when Taktarov explains to his companion that
Romanians are not Germans, and that they are in America is truly
laughable. Are we to assume that the greatest desire of the wretched
duo is to become "true" Americans?
Then, there is the media issue. Yes, it seems that the most of what we
learn comes from cameras, interviews and reporters. The director should
have made us feel the rhythm of the presumed 44 minutes. Instead he
bores us with interviews throughout the movie like in a cheap TV show,
trying to reinvent the wheel. In 15 Minutes the issue of media is the
central one.The point is presented in a way a teacher addresses an
obtuse student, but that deserves a separate comment, we are focusing
on 44 Minutes now. So, I have been trying to identify the purpose of
this movie. What is it? To provide good time for the audience? To
glorify weapons? To glorify police? Portray violence? Oh yes, the
officer gives the Bible to the underage delinquent. So it must promote
peace and understanding after all? I don't think so, but don't ask me.
I only know I didn't enjoy any of this.
Ah, Michael Madsen. I admit, I am a big fan. I hoped he would be a
bright point, but I was wrong. It's not his fault though.
As the final note, comparing "firepower" to "willpower" at the end of
the movie was one of the worst lines I have ever heard.
To summarize, on the scale 1-10, I give it a pure, unadulterated 1.
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