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Momentum: By-the-Numbers Action Bore

  • James PurefoyMorgan Freeman...
  • Action & AdventureThriller
  • Stephen S. Campanelli
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Momentum: By-the-Numbers Action Bore

Exasperating and tiring are just two of the words one can use to describe with Stephen S. Campanelli’s directorial debut, Momentum. Coming in the form of by-the-numbers action flick, this little South African number seems pretty content to go through the motions – it’s essentially a pastiche of every familiar action film you’ve ever seen.

Set in Cape Town, the story opens up with a bank-job-gone-wrong, introducing us to partners-in-crime, gang leader Alexis (Kurylenko) and her loyal cohort and ex-boyfriend Kevin (Moss); the masterminds behind the elaborate heist which soon finds them walking away with a bag of diamonds and a mysterious flash drive. After an ‘unplanned’ incident occurs, the team is soon sent into hiding, with Mr. Washington (Purefoy) – an assassin working for a double-dealing U.S Senator (Freeman) – hot on their trail for the stolen flash drive which apparently contains sensitive information.

Written by Adam Marcus and Debra Sullivan, Momentum has a few – and we’re talking one or two – instants of genuine thrill and excitement; a couple of car chase sequences here and there weren’t all that painful to watch unfold. Lazy, tiring and unimaginative, there isn’t an ounce of creativity thrown into the mix – separating Momentum from any other B-movie actioner is a pretty challenging thing to do – and not even the talents of someone like Stephen S. Campanelli – longtime cameraman who worked on movies such as Red and Tron: Legacy – could manage to amass enough originality and workable angles to bring the script to life.

In terms of performances, Kurylenko – in her first-ever leading role – isn’t necessarily a strong choice for a lead, however, her impressive physical capabilities tend to compensate for her overall robotic performance.  Freeman – as by far the biggest name attached to the film – isn’t given much to do while Purefoy, although a classically-drawn textbook ‘villain’, is the only member of the cast to come out of the process with any credit.

All in all, Momentum is one big disappointingly generic mess of a movie that does very little to generate anticipation or excitement, let alone a viewing recommendation. 

Like This? Try

The Bank Job (2008), The Maiden Heist (2009), Inside Man (2006)

360 Tip

According to the Guardian, the film took just £46 (Approx. $69) at ten screens on its opening weekend in the UK. Ouch. 

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