Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Acts of Betrayal



ACTS OF BETRAYAL (1997)

Directed by: Jack Ersgard
Screenplay: Patrick Highsmith & Steven Hartov
Starring: Maria Conchito Alonso, Matt McColm & Muse Watson

Quality 1990s low budget action filmmaking, Acts of Betrayal bounces along at a fair pace and is choc full of shoot-em up action. Produced by Avi Nesher (Timebomb, Savage, Mercenary) and starring the smouldering Maria Conchito Alonso (Predator 2), Acts of Betrayal overcomes its low budget and rather barmy plotting with a fast moving pace and enough firepower to fill half a dozen mid 90s straight-to-video action films. Alonso plays the fiery Eve Ramirez, the former wife of a mob boss on her way to testify against him. Of course her and her two FBI escorts are ambushed by a heavily armed bunch of goons who don’t want her to make it to court. So with the surviving FBI agent (McColm) she goes on the run, dodging firefight after firefight, as everyone who isn’t the McColm or Alonso is pretty much in on the dirty deal and wants Ramirez dead.



Despite her character being just a little too stereotypical in the stubborn damsel in distress way (never really believes what is going on; always walk into harms way despite being warned not too; trying to have meaningful conversations whilst in the middle of a gun fight) Alonso is on firecracker form. Feisty, mouthy, witty and sexy her character gives this standard action film a much needed boost of humour, vigour and sexiness. She sparks up good chemistry with McColm (Subterfuge) who despite always trying to act professionally eventually falls for his foxy witness. The plot is action movie 101, nicely set up before segueing into a relentless chase, then revealing the authorities were in on it all along (that’s not spoiling the flick and it’s obvious from about ten minutes in).

The flick is nicely shot and the action mounted with hard hitting impact. We get a fair share of shootouts, including an extended gun fight in a bank, all staged with velocity and lots of firepower and exploding squibs. Despite a few too many random scenes of goons riding around on motorcycles for no reason, the action is always plentiful and enjoyable to watch. There is also a neat shootout at a gas station and it helps that McColm is a renowned stuntman, lending a little more edge to the action scenes.

Little known flick that does what it sets out to do, Acts of Betrayal gives Alonso an entertaining leading role and delivers loads and loads of action. Cool.

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