Kevin Dillon finds himself in a very shocking predicament in this action thriller from the director of Survive the Game and Fortress.
After avoiding jail time to serve as a key witness, expert hacker Orlando Friar has decided to use his skills for a new straighter career as a cybersecurity expert. However, his job has had its consequences, especially when it comes to his family. His wife has decided to file for divorce on their daughter Zoey’s birthday as Orlando has to work again. Upon his arrival at the job, he runs into buddy Enzo, who has been avoiding Ava, a one-night stand who works in a nearby office. As Enzo leaves, Orlando is ready for work, but something happens.
Upon sitting in his seat, he hears a click. All of a sudden, he hears a voice which tells him that he has just triggered a bomb located in his seat and if he gets up, he will explode into smithereens. The mysterious voice knows of Orlando’s past as a expert hacker and decides to force in into a series of hacks in order to save himself. When Orlando refuses to help at first, the mysterious voice informs him that he will go after his whole family and knows of their locations. Orlando decides to go along with it. Meanwhile, the bomb squad, led by Wallace Reed, have investigated an earlier explosion at a nearby park and when Orlando is forced to confess his past crimes and admits he has a bomb under his seat, Reed and his team decide they must determine whether they can trust the hacker.
You have to hand it to director James Cullen Bressack. After two films with Bruce Willis last year within just a few months of each other (Survive the Game and Fortress), one has always wondered what’s next for the director and this is the film we have been waiting for. Once again, Bressack just wants to make a popcorn action film to entertain people and his films are exactly that. Fun films to enjoy and this one is one of his great ones.
The veteran cast is exciting in this one. Kevin Dillon carries the film as Orlando, who is in the titular “hot seat” having to atone for his past crimes as a hacker when he’s forced into a situation he never imagined getting into. And all this with having a bad enough day as we learn his wife, played by Lydia Hull, has already decided to file for divorce as his job has affected his family. In essence, this is about a man who is already having a bad day only to make it possibly the worst day of his life.
As most of the film deals with Orlando having to “atone” for his past, we get to see a subplot involving a rivalry between the bomb squad and SWAT as they have different views when it comes to Orlando’s “confession” about the past and how he has a bomb under his seat. Kudos goes to Mel Gibson for his role as veteran bomb squad captain Reed, who can be described as Martin Riggs as a bomb squad expert. He gets in on some one-liners and comic timing to complement the seriousness nature of the situation. Shannen Doherty plays the police captain who finds herself at odds with both factions as they try to determine whether Orlando is a terrorist or just a victim of circumstance.
A big surprise in the film comes from the performance of Sam Ashgari, who many will know for his recent nuptials to pop star Britney Spears. All celebrity news aside, Asghari pulls off a very powerful performance as SWAT team leader Sgt. Tobias, a no-nonsense commander who is convinced Orlando is a bad guy and attempts everything in his power to sway Donnelly on his side and take Orlando out. With his performance here, we could see a potential action star on the rise in Asghari. And the big reveal is actually pretty jaw-dropping but exciting at the same time.
Hot Seat is an exciting thriller that will entertain action film fans, thanks in part to the great cast. Kevin Dillon successfully carries the film and Mel Gibson channels his inner Riggs into his role.
WFG RATING: B+
Lionsgate and Grindhouse Entertainment presents a Emmett/Furla production in association with Verdi Films. Director: James Cullen Bressack. Producers: Alastair Burningham, Randall Emmett, George Furla, Gary Raskin, Ceasar Richbow, Mark Stewart, and Chad A. Verdi. Writers: Leon Langford and Colin Watts. Cinematography: Bryan Koss. Editing: R.J. Cooper.
Cast: Kevin Dillon, Mel Gibson, Shannen Doherty, Sam Asghari, Michael Welch, Lydia Hull, Anna Harr, Kate Katzman.
The film will be released in select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on July 1.