Redline (2007) Aug 23, 2018 16:54:30 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Aug 23, 2018 16:54:30 GMT -5
Directed by: Andy Cheng
Directed by: Andy Cheng
In an attempt to cut through the ambiguity, I'll come out right away and say Redline is a horrible movie; arguably the worst movie to feature fast cars, beautiful women, and reckless gambling. It proves that all three of those inclusions do not a good movie make. A film needs style, wit, a solid screenplay, characters, and some added visual finesse in order to be a winning package. Redline is little besides a candy-colored masturbatory fantasy for adolescent boys who have moved on from Hot Wheels yet still have posters of scantily clad women lining their walls and dreams of owning something that is very loud and impractical.
Almost every publication that wrote a review or editorial about this long-forgotten, mid-spring release more than a decade ago forewarned me of the mess it was. An ignominious 0% on Rotten Tomatoes could've told me all I needed to know as well. I had no interest in sitting through an ineptly conceptualized gear-head film until I learned of the manner in which it came into existence. Redline, its conception, and the luxurious vehicles it boasts all came as a result of a man's manipulation of the subprime mortgage game that worked to cripple the U.S. economy in the mid aughts. Allow me to dedicate more time to that than the plot of the film, which I'm sure you could figure out solely on the basis of glancing the DVD cover.
The film was written, conceptualized, and produced by Daniel Sadek, to the extent that he both helped fund the film and donated his collection of foreign hot-rods to be used as the main muscle of the movie. A third grade dropout from Lebanon, Sadek came to the United States and worked around cars in gas stations and car dealerships before he eventually decided to enter the real estate business. Looking to cash in on the hot trend of subprime, he started the firm Quick Loan Funding in 2002. After five years in business, his company had approved over $4 billion in subprime mortgages, and Sadek was a well-off millionaire, finally able to experience his own version of the fabled American Dream. He bought a plethora of homes in Southern California, he filled his spacious garages with supercars from every corner of the globe, and he even got engaged to soap-opera actress Nadia Bjorlin.
Curiously enough, Redline went on to serve as his both his peak and his downfall. Sadek was able to showcase his enviable collection of vehicles in the film, and funded it with the combination of his riches and money he borrowed against the numbers he thought his film would pull in at the box office. The film came out, didn't come close to recouping its insane $26 million budget, and not long after, the housing bubble burst, and Quick Loan Funding tanked. Sedak declared bankruptcy after being sued by numerous companies for unpaid debt/bounced checks. Where he and his prized possessions reside right now is a total mystery.
Sadly, the film on the other hand is not nearly as interesting as the drama that led to its existence and ultimately engulfed it. It's a subpar, lunk-headed attempt to emulate Fast and the Furious, to the point that the title, "Redline," was actually one of the working titles for the original Paul Walker/Vin Diesel action blockbuster. Sadek's then-girlfriend, Bjorlin, plays a musician/race-car driver who agrees to be a pawn for a flashy music mogul played by Eddie Griffin in hopes she'll score a record-deal out of it. Soon enough, her mother gets taken hostage by a millionaire (Angus Macfadyen), which leads to an Iraq War veteran (Nathan Phillips) scheming to infiltrate his estate in order to get her back. Of course, her mother's life will only be spared when both men come together for a cut-throat race on a dangerous track, where the pop prodigy is set to prove her racing skills are indeed good enough for her mother's life to be spared.
That's a ludicrous plot for what ends up being a futile, ludicrous conceit/rip-off of racing films going back to Vanishing Point. Just as important as the swag and vehicles to films like this are the characters. With Fast and the Furious, despite most of the car-nuts' actions being linked to a heartfelt plea for family and connectedness, regardless of how facile, that brotherhood is at least more credible than a bunch of millionaires racing under the guise of "just because." But what can you reasonably expect from a film made by a con-man with no artistic value and whose biggest footnote is being yet another brick in the giant wall of one of the worst financial crises in American history. Such bad films wish they could be this contemptible.
Starring: Nadia Bjorlin. Eddie Griffin, Angus Macfadyen, Denyce Lawton, and Tim Matheson. Directed by: Andy Cheng.