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It was supposed to be a normal morning, sending off the son to school and discussing dinner with the maid, when all of a sudden a group of brutes breaks into Jessica Martin’s house, shoots the maid, and takes her captive. They are asking her about her husband and where he is, and threaten to kill her and her whole family. She believes there is a big misunderstanding (“You have the wrong family!”), but it increasingly seems that this husband – a mere real-estate agent – got involved in something nasty and dangerous. From her prison cell, she manages to cross some wires of a broken phone and establishes a call with a complete stranger: Ryan’s interest is to chill out in the beach, gets into his girl’s scantily used pants and show off his sixpack and the pretty-boy face on Venice Beach. She manages to convince him, however, to help her safe her and her family. A chase taking him all through the city starts.

The idea is very simple and hence rather good (nothing worse than a complicated setting for me): we only learn very late about the actual reasons for the kidnapping, and through this it is maifested McGuffin-style – it does not really matter for the film to be a decent thrill, because for most of the time the acting persons are completely unaware of the reasons, either. The car chases are too long (I mentioned on occasion I find car chases terribly boring, did I not? Why is nobody listening???), the characters are flat (the Porsche lawyer…), but there is Jason Statham doing his Jason Statham thing, and there is Kim Basinger doing her mature desirable woman thing (works even better for me when her face is a bit battered after a hard kidnapping, wakes my protector instincts), there is William H Macy as a cop doing his William H macy thing in a seaweed mask and with a gun. Would you ever expect Macy to jump sideways, pulling the trigger in the fall 10 times, Bruce Willis style? That was a new aspect of his screen personality for me. And there is the cute kid who is a bit scared, but then again has the time of his life playing cop and robber and being a clever hero. Quite fun, if you are in a hotel room, it’s late and the concentration span is not enough for a complicated “Lost” time-warp episode.

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