Ignition (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Didn't Lena Olin and Bill Pullman used to be on the a-list, or at least close to it? If they were, they surely have fallen.

The military is going to assassinate a liberal president because of ten consecutive years of Pentagon budget cuts.

Yeah, that'll help their cause.

Sigh. These screenwriters always seem to forget an essential point of American politics - if you kill a President for being too far left or right, you get a vice-president who is more extreme in that direction. Since Americans are loath to elect ideologues to the big chair, Presidents are almost always centrists who have to choose a more extreme V.P. to please the hard-line ideologues in their parties. If right-wing nuts had killed pragmatic, slightly left of center Bill Clinton, they would have been stuck with tree-hugging Al Gore. If left-wing nuts killed pragmatic, slightly right of center George W. Bush, they'd be stuck with uberhawk Dick Cheney.

Be that as it may, Olin and Pullman are stuck in the middle of the case as a federal judge who needs protection and the federal marshal who is assigned to protect her. Pullman's role was obviously created for a "Bruce Willis type". He's a cocky, squinty-eyed loner who disrespects his superiors when they are corrupt, and is dismissed from the military despite years of heroic service. He's just as quick to battle evil with his fists as with a wisecrack, blah blah yadda yadda yippie ky yay mofo.


a topless dancer appears in a strip club

The finale of the film takes place underneath the launching pad for a moon launch.

This takes place in an indeterminate time when moon launches will again be made, except this time from a run-down air force base instead of from Cape Kennedy.

Olin is down there handcuffed to something, with a bomb ticking away. Pullman has to rescue her. In doing so, he'll also save the President, because the rocket fire will set off an explosion of nuclear proportions when the flames hit the bomb, and the Prez is standing nearby.  I know what you're thinking. If the rocket ignition is going to set off the bomb, why does the bomb need a timer? I guess it is because all movie bombs are required to have a digital read-out.

DVD info from Amazon

  • Widescreen anamorphic 1.85.

The funniest bit is when Olin and Pullman climb out from beneath the rocket with the countdown at ten seconds, rest to catch their breath while fumes are spewing from the payload, then decide to run away from the launch pad. Their crafty "running away" strategy is flawless. The rocket heads off to the moon safely. Pullman and Olin are safe because - well, because they fall to the ground. This follows another basic movie rule. Irrespective of the size of the explosion, good guys can always escape injury from a nearby explosion by falling to the ground. If Bruce Willis had been in Hiroshima, running toward a camera, with Ground Zero just over his shoulder, he would have simply fallen to the ground and thus lived to get the girl, after casually brushing the nuclear debris from his macho aviator jacket.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews online.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. It is a barely watchable action/conspiracy movie. It's basically a "B" version of a Bruce Willis actioner.

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