DVD Review: Butterfly On A Wheel

Category: Shattered Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: May 12, 2008 | Publication: State - Ireland | Author: John Walshe
Publication/Article Link:http://www.state.ie/blog/dvd-review-butterfly-on-a-wheel/

Neil Randall has it all: a beautiful wife (Bello), a lovely daughter and a well-paid job with one of Chicagoís biggest advertising firms. Unfortunately for him, his whole life comes tumbling down around his ears when Pierce Brosnan, playing against type as a villain, takes an unhealthy interest. Brosnanís psychotic Northern Irish bad guy (complete with dodgy brogue) appears in the back of Randallís SUV, pointing a gun at Neil (Butler) and his wife Abby, before informing them that theyíll never see their daughter again unless they follow his every instruction to the letter.

And what instructions they are! First up, Brosnan makes the Randalls clear out their bank account, before torching their life savings. He then systematically destroys the high flying ad manís career, family life and confidence, via a series of seemingly ridiculous errands. All the while, the viewer (like Butlerís character) has no idea who the former 007 is or why heís intent on destroying everything Randall holds dear.

Taking its theme from Alexander Popeís famous quote about exerting massive effort to achieve something minor, the plot is compelling enough to hold your attention, despite not standing up to particularly close scrutiny. The three leads are solid (Brosnanís horrendous accent aside), although some of the charactersí actions force the viewer to suspend credibility, such as the couple engaging in a domestic in the midst of a far bigger crisis. However, Barkerís direction is pacy enough to ensure you donít get too much time to contemplate the minutiae (at bang-on 90 minutes, it doesnít outstay its welcome), while there are enough moments of real tension and interesting plot twists to make what could have been staid and formulaic into a reasonable but hardly inspired thriller.

For Fans Of: Cape Fear, Ransom.