Sunday, August 12, 2012
Movie Review: ATM
This was written by Chris Sparling, who scripted the excellent Ryan Reynolds small-space film Buried. It's clear he wanted to further explore this type of movie, only he added a few people in tiny enclosure for the "hero" to interact with. The result is fun, but I found it well below the standard he set with his previous work.
This one's not nearly as claustrophobic, which I thought eliminated a lot of the tension, and also since the space is much more open with more characters in peril, one of my bigger problems was that I thought they had plenty of chances to escape or to act a bit more heroically and put an end to the situation. Honestly for the majority of the movie I felt like they could have just taken off running or all jumped the dude. Of course one of them does make a run for it, with some bad results, but still it's something they really didn't know about so I felt like they would have just tried it.
Another thing I found annoying was that it was supposed to be very cold, like below zero (which we're reminded of often from a bank clock), yet for most of the movie you can't even see their breath and there is water in the parking lot, not ice. In one scene their hands are freezing (as you would expect) but an hour later they seem fine. I just thought the cold would have been a major factor and should have been made a bigger player, not an afterthought.
I liked the cast and thought they did a decent job carrying the film, as they had to with the small space. Alice Eve is quite hot too look at (which possibly warmed up the enclosure?) and both male leads do their jobs... one is an annoying doosh and the other sort of a shy hero, both are believable.
All-in-all though I think there's some fun and good scenes and it does pretty much grab you from the beginning and keep you involved. But it all builds to a less than satisfying and unrealistic ending, which left me on sort of a sour note. Not awful, but no Buried.