Friday, 4 April 2014

Rapid Exchange

RAPID EXCHANGE (aka FLIGHT 747) (2003)

Directed by: Tripp Reed
Written by: Tripp Reed & Sam Wells
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Lorenzo Lamas & Matt O’Toole

This fun little heist flick from UFO Pictures (purveyors of cheap and cheerful sci-fi and action films: Interceptor Force, Velocity Trap, Dark Waters, Boa vs Python and a bunch of others) sees 90 action star Lorenzo Lamas and his buddy team up with a group of dodgy thieves to rob a Boeing 747, mid flight, of almost a quarter of a billion dollars. Having been hired by the even more dodgy Lance Henriksen you know shit is going to go wrong and double crosses will abound: which they do as Lamas and his buddy are set up, left for dead but come back fighting for the money they are owed. High altitude plane-to-plane transfers and some not bad early 2000s low budget CGI ensue.

More of a lightweight caper (albeit with a bit of swearing and violence thrown in) than a full on action film, Rapid Exchange is an entertaining B-flick thanks to its game cast, a bit of humour and some cool effects showing the team of crooks transferring from one plane to the other as they attempt to steal the cash. Lamas is his usual likeable self and seems to be having fun playing the more comedic character of the cast (which involves him dressing up in various unconvincing and ridiculous, but no less funny, disguises!) and while Henriksen isn't in the film a whole lot he plays smarmy and sleazy well and gets most of the best lines.

The planes and daring robbery are all rendered with CGI and as mentioned, the CGI is pretty good for a film of this budget. The heist is well staged and fairly thrilling though does become a little overly-complicated and drawn out: not least in the last act of the film where Lamas and his buddy attempt to retrieve their loot in a somewhat muddled and anti-climactic finale! However, if you can get past a few “Huh?!” moments and leave any anger you have towards CGI behind, Rapid Exchange is an easy going action caper buoyed by a watchable cast and a lively pace.

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