12 Rounds

 

 

 

                This may seem like an easy target: a movie starring a professional wrestler.  The wrestler-becoming-actor is a genre that has produced some of the most terrible movies to ever be unleashed on the movie-going public.  Only Dwayne Johnson has had any measureable success on the big screen and it took him a while.  So, one would expect that John Cena would be much more Hulk Hogan than The Rock.  However, this is supposed to be a serious movie.  John Cena himself said he wasn’t trying to make a movie that just cashed in on his fame and physical abilities.  He wanted to be in a movie that was serious with a real plot, drama, etc..

From the outside, this looks like it might be just that.  The movie has a studio (20th Century Fox), a real director in Renny Harlin, and some somewhat established co-stars in Aidan Gillen, Ashley Scott, and Steve Harris.  While this is obviously not a Hollywood blockbuster with an all-star ensemble cast, it has the ingredients to be a decent crime thriller.

Unfortunately, 12 Rounds suffers from the same plot idiocy that is rampant in a lot of crime movies.  The criminals are impossibly well-prepared, the police are impossibly inept – except for the hero – and the twists and turns are implausible and ridiculous.  Add to that an absolute disregard for the consequences of the character’s actions, and a fundamental lack of knowledge about police procedure and policy, and you have quite the stupid plot.  Perhaps John Cena could work his way up to a Dwayne Johnson body of work, but he’s going to have to cast a more discerning eye at the scripts he accepts.


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 |Chapter 16| Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Comments


Chapter 1 0:01 – 4:28

Opening credits show scenes of New Orleans via technical, computerized views.  On the streets of New Orleans, there are several people walking through the crowd, following a man in a red shirt.  They are communicating with each other via radio and tracking his movements.  We see other men in a van, coordinating the surveillance and we see FBI patches on their clothing.  The FBI is monitoring cameras and one of the men surveilling the subject is able to film his face.  The FBI cannot match the face to a known person.

The scene changes to Daniel Fisher, a uniformed police officer with the New Orleans Police Department.  He is looking for his badge and his girlfriend helps him to find it.  He flirts with her and feeds his dog before leaving for work.  Outside of his house, his partner waits in a marked police car and they bring up an FBI bulletin on the in-car computer about a wanted person.

Analysis

Pretty standard Hollywood opening sequence.  We are supposed to believe that the FBI has cameras flying around New Orleans that are able to have the global positioning co-ordinates on their high definition screens.  What’s comical is that the agents on foot, who ostensibly trying to blend in. are wearing ear piece for their radios which are in plain view.  The camera seems to go to great lengths to show that they are making themselves obvious by walking around with these cords coming out of their ears.  Why even bother to dress in plain clothes if you’re going to advertise with that ear piece?  We also see a female agent speak into her sleeve, which is the Hollywood way of depicting a special agent who is protecting the president.  Why would the agents be using those radios?  Don’t they have cell phones that can do the same thing?  Can’t they have a blue tooth radio or a radio with a connector that looks like a hands free cellphone device?

Also, the Hollywood standard of the FBI having the fastest computer systems in the world is in full effect.  They are able to analyze a frontal still shot, compare it with some database and receive a result in seconds.  That is some serious compiling going on.

We see Cena’s Daniel Fisher at home, making the statement that the police department “gave him two things – a gun and a badge”.  For him to just place his badge down somewhere and forget it is not speaking well of him as a police officer.  Also, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) really needs to work on how it outfits its officers.  It only issues a gun and a badge?  What about uniforms, or credentials, or batons, or handcuffs, or a Taser, or OC spray, or a radio?  Did Officer Fisher have to buy all that out of pocket?  If everyone is buying their own radios, how do they all stay on the same frequency? Apparently, his partner is much luckier as he was issued a vehicle.  It looks like the NOPD doesn’t have a roll call or anything; you can just pick your partner up at his house – convenient for the absent-minded officer who can’t seem to find one of the only two items his department gave him.

It’s also interesting that the FBI is running a covert operation where they’re surreptitiously following someone but they are going to call in uniformed police officers in marked cars to help.  They’re also just sharing information about a terrorist so freely, which is good to see in a post 9/11 world.

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Chapter 2 4:29 – 8:29

The FBI continues its surveillance.  The agents are now tracking a man in a dark suit who is walking through New Orleans.  When they are able to secure a photograph of his face, they run it through the facial recognition software and it is revealed to be Miles Jackson, an Irish terrorist.  Jackson walks through the city, helps a chess player in a restaurant, and makes a phone call.  The FBI is working with the man whom Jackson calls, and they tell him that he has to help them if he ever wants to see his brother again.  Jackson hails a cab and rides to a dock area where he meets with a group of armed men.  The FBI agent in charge declines to “notify the Director” while he plays with a toy car.

Meanwhile, Officer Fisher is with his partner Carver talking about whether or not Fisher will ask his girlfriend to move in with him. This happens while they respond to the FBI’s request to cordon off a 10 block radius around Jackson.

Analysis

You might wonder, what happened to the man in the red shirt?  Why were they following him in the first place?  When we come back to the FBI, they’re now tracking Jackson and appear to have been on him the entire time.  When they finally are able to capture Jackson’s face on camera, the FBI has to run it through the software.  The lead agent is obviously very familiar with this man, so why can’t he just see him and say “That’s the guy!”.  Is the FBI’s facial recognition software better than the agents’ ability to recognize a face?  Miles is not even wearing a disguise!

We see that Jackson is really good at chess, because he walks into one of those famous New Orleans Chess bars and shows someone how to beat his opponent.  It’s sort of a dick move since I’m guessing the person didn’t really want his help.  Jackson gets into a cab, which makes me wonder two things:

  1. How did he get to the French Quarter in the first place if he has no ride?
  2. Why did he bother walking around instead of just taking a cab right to the wharf?

The lead agent is playing with a car, which is obviously going to be meaningful (or so you’d think).  I can’t figure out why he wouldn’t tell the Director that he found this wanted terrorist, ON U.S. SOIL! I guess it just wasn’t that big a deal. What is a big deal, however, is some shipment of guns.  Rather than just descend on the terrorist Miles Jackson while he’s walking down the street, or taking him while he’s in the cab, the FBI is more concerned about a shipment of guns.  Just grab this wanted terrorist, already!  Who cares about the guns?  They’ll just sit somewhere, you can get them later. Or you can send the NOPD to arrest the gun runners.

While the banter between the two officers is fine and somewhat funny, I have to wonder why they’re driving down the street with their red and blue lights on if there’s no emergency.

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Chapter 3 8:30 – 13:10

The FBI follows Miles Jackson to a meeting with a group of men.  The FBI is working with the leader of the group, Samuel, promising to release his brother from captivity if Samuel co-operates with them.  Jackson asks for his money and says that he will give Samuel a PDA with the location of the weapons.  Samuel shoots Jackson instead and his henchmen throw Jackson into a van.  Samuel tells the FBI to bring his brother to a causeway where he will deliver Miles.  Samuel’s men shoot all the cameras the FBI was using to observe them and leave they in a van.

Inside the van, we see that Jackson was wearing a Kevlar vest and is fine.  He talks with Samuel, saying that if he hadn’t tipped Samuel off that the FBI was going to do this, then Samuel might have actually double crossed him. Jackson says he has already freed Samuel’s brother.  Miles then stabs him to death and shoots the henchmen.

The FBI calls for assistance from the NOPD and Fisher and his partner respond.

Analysis

The FBI agent in charge has set up a very flawed operation.  He has two criminals: one he’s trying to capture, and the other he plans on recapturing, making a mock deal at a wharf with not one agent in the vicinity.  There should be a whole gang of people waiting to pounce on the suspects.  Not only that, but they’re allowing the criminal and his henchmen to carry live weapons with them for the meet.  That can’t be within regulations.  Of course, perhaps they just wanted to leave open the possibility that their plant kills the man they want to capture.  The FBI apparently didn’t have time to gather in their surveillance agents, or to have a SWAT team on hand, but they did have time to steal all the camera feeds from the area.  They are also somehow less mobile than Samuel’s men, who were there waiting at the dock.

Once Samuel takes Miles, where is the FBI or the NOPD?  The FBI asked for a ten block radius coverage so why don’t they just call in the reserves and box the van in?  Samuel says the FBI told them where they’d be so “just go around it”.  If the NOPD is cordoning off the area in a 10 block radius, Jackson and Sameul would be in the center of that ten block circle.  So, how do you go around a circle of which you are the center? Why did the FBI tell Samuel where they were, which it appears, is nowhere near the wharf?

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Chapter 4 13:11 – 21:39

Jackson meets with his girlfriend, Erica, and they open the case to reveal it is full of diamonds.  Jackson enters Erica’s car and they drive off.  Fisher and Carver are responding to the FBI’s request for backup and stop the van in which Samuel put Jackson.  Erica pulls up next to their car and then turns away.  Fisher recognizes her from footage of her dancing with Jackson and tells Carver to follow them.  They conduct a traffic stop and Carver flirts with Erica.  When Fisher has Carver ask her to open the trunk, it opens up and Jackson starts shooting at the two officers.  Carver is hit and Erica drives off.

Fisher chases the two criminals on foot and has several near misses.  He loses his gun in the chase but is able to head them off and to detach a recreational boat on a trailer and push it in their path. Erica drives into the boat and she and Miles crash.  Erica and Miles exit the crashed car, and Fisher picks up Miles’ gun.  He tells them to get on the ground and Miles tells Erica to run.  She does so and steps in front of a speeding truck.  She is struck and dies.  Miles asks for Fisher’s name and says he’ll remember him as the police back up arrives.

Analysis

It’s unclear how Jackson makes his escape.  I presume he never left the wharf since he’s still in the back of the van and thus wasn’t driving.  I guess he also killed the driver somehow as there’s no one in the seat.  Erica is waiting for him, but he hasn’t moved.  So, I guess she drove past the FBI and NOPD to where he was going to meet Samuel on the wharf.  When she arrived, she exited her vehicle and just tapped her feet while Jackson talked smack to a dead man.  Why he  didn’t immediately run to get in the car with her as time is obviously of the essence, I don’t know.  She should have been in the car, with it running and in gear, and her foot on the brake.  Of course, we see the police and FBI don’t have their act together as they have about 20 cars driving in a straight line on one road.  Great search pattern, guys.

Fisher is able to recognize Erica from the footage of her dancing with Jackson.  Apparently the FBI agents hadn’t seen that video because they still had to use their facial recognition program to ID Jackson, even though he looks the exact same in person as he does dancing with Erica on the video.  I’ll give Fisher and Carver credit; they do a fine traffic stop with one man doing the interview and the other on overwatch.  Kudos.

Jackson is somehow able to shoot Carver in the butt even though Carver is by the passenger side window of Erica’s car, Jackson is in the trunk, and Jackson never leans around to shoot at him.  Jackson is a terrible shot, as he hits the lights on the top and front of the police car, even though it’s only a few yards from him.  Terrible group.

Why does Fisher chase on foot?  His police cruiser is RIGHT THERE!  Also, his partner is bleeding from a gunshot wound and he just leaves him by some garbage.  What kind of partner is that?  He tells Carver EMS is three minutes away, which he couldn’t possibly know and which couldn’t possibly be true unless an ambulance happened to be a block away.

 

I have an open wound and it's exposed to garbage.  Leave me and chase on foot!

I have an open wound and it’s exposed to garbage. Leave me and chase on foot!

The chase is just ridiculous.  Erica and Miles make a left and a right, which equates to them going in the same direction as they were when they fled the scene of the shooting.  Even if Fisher knew exactly where they were going, which is highly unlikely, how the hell does he manage to keep up with them on foot?  He’s climbing over fences, he’s running through people’s houses, he never even makes it into a sprint.  Meanwhile, Erica is driving at least 30-40 miles an hour but Fisher manages to catch up to them and fire more shots at them.  Then he loses his service weapon while climbing another fence.  There’s a dog in the yard and the dog chews on his gun.  So, he leaves it.

Let me repeat that.  He left a loaded, police issue firearm (one of the two things the NOPD issued him) in the backyard of a private residence.  Just think how irresponsible that is.  What if someone in that house finds the gun and kills someone with it?  Guess who is responsible?  You’d think Officer Daniel Fisher, but no.  As we see, he won’t be held responsible for anything in New Orleans.

He still manages to run through some woods and arrive at the bridge ahead of the criminals – and he’s not even breathing hard.  He essentially steals someone’s boat and creates a traffic hazard by pushing it into the street in hopes that the criminals and not some poor civilian will hit it.  This strategy works, though, as Erica drives right into said boat and somehow ramps up in the air.  I don’t know why the car went in the air instead of just directly into the boat, but hey, it’s a terrible movie – these things happen.  Miles tells Erica to run and she is hit by a truck, and yet he blames Fisher.  Miles then is able to read Fisher’s name tag from roughly seven yards away, in the dark.  His eye sight is incredible.  I don’t know why Milrd to ask his name right then and there.  Obviously, Fisher’s name will be on the arrest paperwork as well as on a witness list at Jackson’s trial.

Right at the end of the scene, there’s a helicopter that FINALLY shows up.  How did Jackson plan on outrunning the helicopter?

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Chapter 5 – 21:40 – 27:43

The movie moves forward one year.  Fisher and Carver are playing pool and talking about how they have been detectives for a year now.  Carver tries to talk Fisher into continuing to play and  to drink, but Fisher has to return home to his girlfriend.  Fisher wakes the next morning and finds his girlfriend, Molly, working on the sink in the bathroom.  It’s leaking and she says the plumber is on his way.  The plumber arrives and reveals that he warned Fisher repairs needed to be made but Fisher chose not to have the repairs performed.  Molly is upset and says she has to go to work.  Fisher’s phone rings and he hears Jackson’s voice.  Jackson tells him he has escaped from jail and talks about the events of that morning in Molly and Fisher’s house.  Fisher grabs his gun and walks out of the house looking for Jackson and a Jeep explodes.  Then his house explodes.

Analysis

Since we see events that are one year later, that would mean that Fisher and Carver were promoted to detective the day after Jackson was arrested.  We can assume that both of them were about to be promoted and that the arrest had nothing to do with it, but Carver intimates that the arrest had a lot to do with it.  So, Carver was promoted to detective for being shot in the ass and Fisher was made detective by capturing a criminal wanted by the FBI after not waiting for back up and leaving his weapon in the backyard of a family residence, and destroying someone’s boat.  Not only were they promoted, but they were promoted the NEXT DAY.  The NOPD has a very streamlined, or perhaps corrupt, promotional process.  How that made it past the union, I have no idea.  The repartee is not bad, though.

Fisher has his alarm set for 4:58pm for some reason, so he is out of bed just before 5:00 in the evening.  How late was he out the night before?  How much time was he spending with his girlfriend if he slept until that late?  It doesn’t matter, because his saint of a girlfriend is trying to fix the sink in her panties at 5pm while waiting for the plumber to arrive.  Fisher doesn’t mind that she’s waiting for the plumber to arrive and she’s not wearing pants, but this story does take place in New Orleans.  Maybe it’s because she respects his need to sleep until dinnertime so much that she allows him to sleep in his clothes while the house is flooding and doesn’t even ask him to get up to help.

 

Hey, hon, just waiting for the plumber in my panties

Hey, hon, just waiting for the plumber in my panties

Finally, Jackson calls and he tells Fisher he’s out of prison and has knowledge of the goings on in the house.  Fisher being unaware of Jackson’s escape is far-fetched.  If the FBI arrested someone as dangerous as Jackson, it would be huge news.  If that person escaped a year later, it would be huge news.  Also, there would be a bulletin out to every law enforcement agency so they could quickly recapture the man.  Somehow the NOPD, or just Fisher, isn’t on that distribution list.

Fisher believes Jackson what tells him sufficiently to look around his house and to grab a loaded firearm, but  he doesn’t feel the need to alert the innocent plumber.  The house is being watched by a vengeful international terrorist who just escaped from a federal prison and Fisher is arming himself, but someone has to fix that sink.  Keep working, buddy, I’ll just run outside with my gun because I’m sure he’s on the front lawn.

I don’t know whose jeep that is that explodes.  It could be a neighbor’s which Jackson could have easily rigged to explode.  Of course, I don’t know why he would just bomb a neighbor’s Jeep but he’s obviously a bad person.  What’s great is the explosion of the house.  The entire house explodes.  I mean all of it at once.  Then it topples to the ground.  It’s utterly destroyed.  How did Jackson find time to wire the entire house with explosives like that?  How is it that no one noticed?  I’m no demolitions expert, but that has to have taken a lot of charges placed all throughout the house and linked.  That’s a major job that would have taken either a team, or a few people working for a long time.  Maybe the plumber was the bomb?

 

Worst...plumber...ever

Worst…plumber…ever

 

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Chapter 6 27:44 – 33:11

Jackson talks to Fisher via phone telling him he is taking revenge for the killing of Jackson’s girlfriend.  He asks if Molly will trust him.  Fisher leaves his dog with neighbors and runs to the dock where Molly is on the ferry.  While running, he calls her but a man has asked to borrow her phone and ignores Fisher’s call when it comes in.  By the time he arrives at the dock, the ferry is already in the water.  He commandeers a car and speeds to the other side. He calls Carver and tells him to have the ferry delayed.  He arrives on the other side as people are disembarking but Molly is nowhere in sight.  Carver arrives and when Fisher calls Molly again, Jackson answers.

Analysis

Fisher is a sworn public servant charged with protecting the people of New Orleans.  After a terrorist attack in his neighborhood what does he do?  Here are some possibilities, guess which action he takes:

  1. Make sure no one else is hurt, try to gather possible witnesses, preserve evidence, and keep people away from the burning house and vehicle.
  2. Call Emergency services on his cell phone to alert the fire department that there had just been an explosion at his house.
  3. Contact the NOPD to let them know that a convicted terrorist was in New Orleans and had blown up his house.
  4. Contact the plumber’s employer and let them know to notify the next of kin that he has been incinerated in a terrorist attack.
  5. Immediately, call his girlfriend to warn her.
  6. Take off running towards the docks to save his girlfriend and call her at some point while en route.

If you chose option 6 then perhaps you could be a big time Hollywood screen writer.  How did this guy make detective?  He has terrible instincts and a blatant disregard for procedure.  If he was hell bent on ignoring everything other than making it to the dock, why didn’t he carjack one of his neighbors or at least ask to borrow a car?  I guess we know now that it was Fisher’s jeep that blew up.  That or he just doesn’t own a car, and the NOPD didn’t give him a take home car.  I guess they still just gave him a gun and a detective’s badge.  He sure doesn’t seem to have any photo ID.  Which begs the question of how did Jackson put the bomb in his car?  Did he just stroll out into the street and sneak under the car in the middle of a neighborhood?  Fisher came home late that night so Jackson wouldn’t have had a lot of time while it was dark.

Fisher makes it to the ferry and makes a smart call to Carver to have it delayed. I don’t know that Carver has the authority to delay a ferry, but at least Fisher is making some effort outside of running. Of course, he neglects to inform him that Jackson just blew up his car and house, but he’s not part of the fire department and probably isn’t a homicide detective so who cares about that plumber?   He steals a car from some guy and makes it to the other side of the river just as the ferry is arriving. He tells the lone security guard to secure the area.  How is one old guy supposed to do that?  Carver arrives with a marked police car in record time.  I guess the NOPD station is closer to the dock than the Department of Transportation.  My favorite part of this is the 2 uniformed officers that arrive with him.  They just stand there looking at the 2 detectives talk about Molly.

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Chapter 7 33:12 – 38:16

Jackson explains to Fisher and Carver that he is playing a game called 12 Rounds.  He has taken the 1st 2 rounds and Fisher has to do what he says in order to have a chance to see Molly again.  He tells Fisher a cell phone will ring somewhere in the city and to return to where they first met for a clue where it is.  Fisher and Carver return to where they stopped Jackson and find a message spray painted on a wall.  It has longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates that lead to a firehouse where Fisher’s brother works.  They arrive and a phone rings at a store next door.  Fisher answers it and Jackson tells him a fire is burning at a bank and Fisher has to grab 2 safety deposit boxes by 5:55pm.

Analysis

After listening to Jackson for a second, Fisher says he’ll hunt him down and kill him.  Kill him, not arrest him.  Good police work again.  Molly is tied up in the back of a van.  How the hell did he get her off the boat and into a van without anyone seeing?  Did he offer candy?  She must be able to recognize him, so why would she accompany him or his confederate anywhere?

 

“Excuse me ma’am, thank you for letting me use your phone.  Would you mind stepping into this van?”

“Excuse me ma’am, thank you for letting me use your phone.  Would you mind stepping into this van?”

How did Jackson get away with being an Irish guy spray painting coordinates on a wall of what appears to be an entirely black neighborhood?  He would stick out like an Irishman in New Orleans.  I also like how Carver is searching through the same garbage into which he fell a year earlier while Fisher is just pointing his weapon and every black person who walks by.   They don’t even identify themselves as police, and the neighborhood residents don’t even blink when this hulking giant points a firearm at them.  Hmm, maybe Jackson could get away with spray painting the wall.  Being the good detectives they are, they don’t even bother to ask anyone if they saw who wrote that on the wall or request uniformed officers to do the same.  They just hop in the car and drive off before they even have a destination.  Where were they going before they knew where the coordinates led?

 

I need this gun to find a clue, just keep riding your bikes, kids.

I need this gun to find a clue, just keep riding your bikes, kids.

They make to it the firehouse and surprisingly there are like 15 firefighters who are just playing Ping-Pong.  Apparently they don’t work close enough to Detective Fisher’s house to be called to put out a car bomb and a house explosion.  They only handle banks.  How could Jackson put a bomb in a fire station?  They are manned 24 hours a day.

I didn’t know that display phones in stores actually worked.  The next time I need to make a call, I’m just going to walk in and use the newest model.  Actually, I’d like that phone that they used.  Its ringer is so loud that they can hear it from the street.  Can you imagine how loud that would be in the store?  That would be great for speaker phone option or for playing music.  How did Jackson put a memory chip in the phone?  Did the staff just let him open the phone up and start fiddling with it?  Very lax staff there.  And here’s a perfect reason to release the information on an escaped terrorist on US soil.  The guy checked into a hotel.  Maybe if his face were on TV the clerk or a guest might have seen him.  I also have to wonder how he managed to get Molly into his room with duct tape on her mouth and her hands and feet bound together.  You would think someone would notice a guy lugging around a blonde who is obviously being held prisoner.

“Are you ok ma’am?”

“Oh, she’s fine, sir.  We’re just playing 12 Rounds!.”

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Chapter 8 38:17 – 42:23

Carver agrees to help Fisher find Molly as Fisher prepares to head to the bank with his brother’s firehouse.  FBI Special Agents George Aiken and Ray Santiago arrive and tell Fisher they know that Jackson is back in New Orleans and has contacted Fisher and kidnapped Molly.  They say he has been out of prison for 2 weeks.  Santiago wants them to stop Fisher from playing Jackson’s game but Aiken thinks it will keep Jackson distracted and maybe he’ll make a mistake.  The FBI takes Fisher to the bank, following the fire department and Fisher’s brother gives him some Fire Department equipment so he can continue with Jackson’s game.

Carver returns to the station to start investigating the kidnapping of Molly and gives a speech to pump up the other detectives on his squad.  They begin to look for video footage and witnesses.

Analysis

How did the FBI know where Fisher was?  Are they tracking him with a GPS or did they just show up at the burning wreck of his house and car, then deduce where he went?  Maybe they’re tracking his phone.  I don’t know but they sure know a lot about what’s going on for having just shown up in the movie.  Aiken comes on the screen and is just a jerk immediately.  Fisher asks a legitimate question of why he wasn’t notified about the prison escape.  Really, why wasn’t everyone notified (more on this in a few paragraphs)?  Also, why would Aiken have an issue with his partner Santiago calling Det. Fisher Danny?  In honor of this he will now be referred to as Danny.  Danny absolutely saved his terrible operation the previous year.  He should be best buddies with Danny.

Instead, Aiken taunts poor Danny forcing him to admit that he wants to “…keep Molly alive, and I know what I gotta do.”  What he has to do is rob a bank, and apparently that doesn’t bother his police mentality at all.  For some reason Aiken is riding in the back seat, like Santiago is his chauffeur.  They tell Danny to “tell them what they want to know and they’ll tell him what he wants to know.”  Then they don’t ask him any questions.  In fact, Aiken just tells him to shut up while he keeps playing with his toy car.

Danny goes to the bank which appears to be on the top floor of a large, low rent apartment building.  Who puts a safety deposit vault on the 10th floor of a ramshackle apartment building?  I am assuming the entire group of fire fighters who work with Danny’s brother know and like Danny and are thus not worried about the liability issues of sending an untrained man with a gun into a burning building while he’s upset about his missing girlfriend, in NOFD gear.

Then we see Carver at the police station.  Things really start to fall apart here.  In movie time, only 32 minutes has passed since she was abducted.  Man, everyone is moving at the utmost efficiency through New Orleans.  Why, Carver alone has gone from the station, to the ferry, to the fire department and back to the station, stopping for a few minutes at each location in 32 minutes.  Apparently, Danny and Carver are working for the division of the NOPD that finds missing persons and kidnapping victims because they are ready to just start looking for video footage and interviewing witnesses.  Maybe someone will go back and interview all the people who might have seen Jackson spray paint the message on the wall, you remember, the ones he just ignored 10 minutes earlier except to have his white partner point a gun at them.  Then to drive home the seriousness of the situation, he pulls Jackson’s wanted poster off the wall and says “This asshole, cannot win.”  Give me a minute here.

 

No one tell Danny this is here.

No one tell Danny this is here.

So, Danny and Carver are unaware that Jackson has escaped from prison but they have the FBI’s wanted poster on the wall of the station?  How the hell did they miss that?  And it’s not from before he was arrested by Danny last year.  You can see his NOPD mug shot on the poster.  Now, maybe this is the 2nd time he was arrested by the NOPD but that seems highly unlikely.  Carver isn’t even surprised by the poster being there.  He just reaches out for it like he knew it was there and used it as a prop or point of emphasis.  Did he know all along that Jackson was out and didn’t tell Danny?  That might explain why Aiken was so rude to Danny – the FBI had already sent out a bulletin on the guy, but the dumbasses in the NOPD didn’t know or didn’t feel it was important enough to tell him.  Also, why is the mug shot from the NOPD?  Once Danny caught him the FBI, who called the NOPD in on the hunt originally, would have taken the arrest.  Jackson would have never set foot in a NOPD station.

 

NOPD Mug Shot, for some reason.

NOPD Mug Shot, for some reason.

Last, I think it would have been better if the Irish guy was named George Aiken and black guy was called Miles Jackson.

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Chapter 9 42:24 – 49:43

Danny and his brother work their way through the building and make it to where the safe deposit boxes are.  Danny forces his way into the vault, checks the phone with the numbers and pries the doors off of the storage area.  He pulls the 2 boxes out and they each have digital clocks counting down.  Miles calls Danny while walking through what appears to be the basement of a building and tells him that one box contains 2lbs of explosives and the other contains the clue for the next round.  Danny has to travel 23 blocks to a wharf in the 7 minutes left on the clocks.  Miles recommends using the fire truck.

Danny uses a coil of wire to jump out of a window, sliding down the wire and landing on a wooden walkway.  He then makes it to the ground and commandeers one of the fire engines and speeds across town to the wharf.  After nearly killing several people and being forced to divert or run over Mile’s confederate once, he arrives at the wharf with seconds left.  He speaks with Miles on the phone and Miles tells him he’s still late. He hears a bell ring and decides to throw the box without the bell into the water where it explodes.

Analysis

There were a lot of fire fighters for what turned out to be just smoke bombs.  I don’t know much about firefighting but I think that most firefighters could tell the difference between smoke from a real fire and smoke from a smoke bomb.  Also, what kinds of smoke bombs were used?  There was a LOT of smoke in that building and on multiple floors.  Well, that doesn’t stop Danny who proceeds into what appears to be an abandoned vault.  Seriously it looks like someone had a bunch of safety deposit boxes in their apartment.  There was no bank lobby or anything, just a room with boxes and a cheap gate in front of it that Danny breaks down with 1 strike from a crow bar.

Danny takes the fire engine, but why didn’t he try to use the FBI’s vehicles?  They have lights and sirens and they have to be faster and more maneuverable than a fire engine.  Actually, where did they go?  They were so keen to talk to him and after he jumps out of a window with a bag, after ostensibly opening the boxes, they just let him steal a fire engine?  Someone has to stop this guy.  I’m sure he’s befriended everyone in the city and they’re all broken up about Molly, but he’s obviously a menace.  He breaks all sorts of traffic laws, destroys several cars, motorcycles, an outdoor restaurant, and does lots of damage to the fire engine.  If he had money problems with the plumbing just imagine what the tab will be for that.  He is also really inconsistent with his concern for human life.  He swerves around a man stopping in an intersection and then avoids Mile’s henchman, but he drives directly through an outdoor restaurant full of people at full speed.  If you look closely, he doesn’t even brake.  Everyone has to run for their lives or he’d have flattened them. In the embedded video you can see Danny swerve to miss a guy in a car, then run over several other cars with aplomb.

 

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Chapter 10 49:44 – 56:26

The FBI arrives and they cut open the deposit box.  Inside are a phone, and a key card for a hotel that has a view of the wharf.  The FBI alters Danny’s phone so that it can track Miles’ phone if the call lasts longer than 30 seconds. They return to their vehicles and head to the hotel.  When they arrive, they lock down the entire place and find the key card’s room.  On the bed in the room are photographs of Molly tied up on that bed.  The FBI and Danny watch security footage and see Miles walking down a hall.  He holds a sign for the camera that reads “We are still here.”  There is also footage of him walking with a large hotel employee named Willie.

Willie takes Danny to where he led Miles, the air ducts in the basement which go all the way to the roof.  Danny asks Willie to take him to the roof, and halfway up the elevator stops.  They find a portable DVD player in the emergency phone box and it plays a message that Miles forced Molly to record.  She says the next clue is in the hotel lobby but that the elevator will fall in 60 seconds and there is only time to save one person.

Carver continues to investigate Miles, finding the rented SUV and looking into the prison break.

Analysis

Why the FBI doesn’t just arrest Danny at the wharf is beyond me.  He broke all sorts of laws.  He stole a fire engine, drove recklessly, threw an explosive into the water, and almost killed dozens of people.  Instead, they just give him a new phone.  Now they’re going to be liable for the damage this guy does next.  Their behavior is very inconsistent.  They want him to help them, then complain about him doing things he shouldn’t, and then they just let him run off with only witness to Miles’ actions in the hotel.  Danny tells Aiken “I’m going to find Willie” but minutes later Aiken doesn’t know where he went.  Dnny then tells him, on the radio, where he’s going , saying he and Willie are heading to the basement.

The elevator scene is comical.  How did Miles get the DVD player in there?  He wasn’t carrying it when he got on the elevator with Willie.  Also, how is the DVD player supposed to detonate something that makes the elevator drop?  For that matter, how did he put the device on the elevator motor?  That would have required him to enter the elevator shaft and to affix the explosives and have no one notice.  What if someone went in the elevator before Danny?  Pretty risky planning on Miles’ part.

Carver says that they tracked the SUV Jackson was driving to a rental facility and he gave a false address.  So, does that mean he gave them his real name?  What credit card did he use, and did he present his Ireland driver’s license?  These seem like pretty important clues.  Also, Carver has been a detective for only one year and yet he’s calling the shots.  Where are the supervisors?  You’d think the Chief of Police him or herself would be there.  Or maybe the FBI would be investigating this also, instead of abetting Danny’s destruction of New Orleans.

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Chapter 11 56:26 – 1:04:00

Willie and Danny are trapped in the elevator while the clock runs down.  Danny opens the hatch in the roof and climbs on top of the car.  He reaches down and initially has trouble pulling Willie out but eventually Willie makes it through.  His back hurts, however, and before he can grab onto the window ledge where Danny is, the elevator drops with five seconds left on the clock.  Willie falls with it to his death.  The impact causes a pipe to burst in the basement.

In the lobby, Danny is upset by the Willie’s death.  Agent Santiago tries to console Danny but Miles calls.  They try to trace the call but Miles realizes what is happening and ends the call before they can trace it.  He then calls back several more times hanging up very quickly to mock them.  Miles tells him the clue is framed in a picture in the lobby.  Danny finds the appropriate picture and there is a note written on the back mentioning an intersection of two streets.  Santiago thinks they should end all this but Aiken says it’s working well because they are closer to Miles.  When Miles calls Danny again, Santiago urges Danny not to answer but Aiken intercedes and Danny answers the phone.  Miles tells Danny to go to the intersection alone and we see Miles riding in the car that his confederate used to divert the fire engine earlier.  Molly is in the back of the car.

Aiken pushes Santiago against the wall and tells him not to be a hero.

Analysis

The elevator scene is fine, I suppose.  It’s cheesy but no more so than any other narrow escape.  The fun begins when Willie dies.  Why the elevator falling made a pipe burst in another part of the hotel is a mystery.  Also, why no one seems to notice or care is another mystery.  I guess with Willie gone, there is no one who’s an expert on the elevator and thus no one would know that it would burst a pipe. Danny is distraught over the death of Willie.  That’s admirable, and I’m sure the family of the plumber who also died because of Danny will be very touched by Danny’s concern for Willie.

I don’t know where the movie trope of it taking 30 seconds to trace a call originated, but they stick with it in this movie.  I think it’s just industry standard.  What always baffles me is how inept people are at keeping someone on the phone for 30 seconds.  Miles had 20 seconds of information to impart.  Just ask him to repeat it since there’s so much background noise, or claim the reception is bad.  No, Danny and the FBI just sit there helplessly as Miles deduces what they’re up to.

What I want to know is: where is the mayor of New Orleans in all this?  He should be on the phone with the FBI putting an end to this immediately.  How about the Chief of Police?  Is there any official other than of Detective Carver, who has been a detective for exactly one year, who can stop Danny’s rampage through the city?  Santiago tries, but then Aiken commits assault and battery on him by laying his hands on him and pushing him and threatening him.  My guess is Aiken is going to get a call from HR pretty soon. I wonder if they wrote the character that way or if they just told the actor “go out there and just be as big a dick as you can.”  Don’t be a hero, it’s not in your pay grade?  How about don’t put your damned hands on me, Aiken, that’s not in anyone’s pay grade.

 

I'm already filing a complaint, Aiken

I’m already filing a complaint, Aiken

 

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Chapter 12 1:04:01 – 1:10:11

The FBI drops Danny off at the cross street for the next round.  While Danny waits, Carver calls and says he tracked down an inmate from the prison break who is upset that Miles pinned the blame for the break on him. Carver is going to question him as soon as he gets a warrant.  Danny waits but doesn’t see anything until a bus numbered “5050” passes.  Danny realizes that’s the clue and boards the bus.  Aboard the bus is Molly, who has a bomb strapped to her chest.  Miles is on the bus as well.  He says that Danny has to let him walk away to win the next round. Miles finds the FBI’s wire on Danny and rips it off.  Miles has a device that will trigger the bomb on Molly’s chest as well as another that will destroy the bus.  Miles handcuffs Danny to the bus and Danny says he thinks Miles might be bluffing.  Miles challenges him to call his bluff.

Meanwhile, the FBI figures out that Miles is on the bus.  Rather than stop it, Aiken decides to have a sniper team set up.  Aiken continues to play with the yellow car he keeps on him.  The sniper team is set as the bus moves along and Danny decides what to do next.

Analysis

Miles’ clues are getting  harder and harder to understand. What was his plan if Danny missed the bus?  Who looks at the numbers on a bus?  How does Miles manage to get Molly onto the bus without drawing a great deal of attention?  I mean, she has five red dots glowing through her sweatshirt.  How is that not going to make a commotion?  When Danny is talking to Miles on the bus about Molly but the other passengers still don’t notice her glowing chest.  Danny unzips Molly’s’ top allowing to see but still no one notices.  Danny and Molly are the only two people standing. They hug, they are all kinds of conspicuous and then Miles yells at them.  How does that not draw attention?  Molly sits next to Miles and then he zips up her sweatshirt.  She has the bomb exposed the entire time but again no one seems to notice.  Of course, the exterior shots show a bus full of people but the interior shots show it to be rather deserted for some reason.

Miles and Danny proceed to have a conversation in which Danny is curses, makes threats and Miles talks about how the bus will explode and everyone on it will die. They converse, not in hushed tones, but audibly such that anyone could hear.  But apparently, no one is paying attention.  Just as no one was paying attention in the bus yard when Miles or a confederate sneaked in and planted a bomb.

Why does Danny allow himself to be handcuffed?  As soon as he saw Miles, he should have commenced with the ass whooping.  Or, maybe he could have just said “Miles, what are you doing here?” so the FBI, who was listening, would know.  Maybe Danny could have just shot Miles to death right there.  I guess he just wanted to hear how to keep the bomb from going off.  It’s simple; keep Miles’ thumb on the screen.  Ok, so then shoot him and then hold his thumb to the screen.  Or just reach out and grab his little tiny hands with your massive wrestling hands and force his thumb on the screen. Or, just put something between the nail bomb and Molly’s heart, and evacuate the bus. No, instead he decides to engage in more banter. And what’s with that bomb?  Hello prop department!  The script calls for a charge to shoot a nail into Molly’s heart.  There’s no need for the little cylinders all around her midsection.  At this point, I’m rooting for Miles.

One of the important “plot” points is that Miles calls Danny predictable.  How is he able to predict Danny’s actions?  Did he read up on Danny while he was in jail?  Is the prison library stocked with psychological profiles of Danny Fisher, or does it have a copy of Danny Fisher for Dummies that he was able to read?

Aiken continues to make worse and worse decisions.  Rather than just storm the bus, his plan is to try to shoot Miles through a window of a moving bus.  This is because he’s worried Miles will “make things a blood bath”.  Hasn’t he seen what Miles has done today?  Miles blown up a house and killed at least a plumber and a fat security guard.  He also has a long history of killing people.  Since when is Aiken concerned about loss of civilian life?  And who in the FBI was investigating the prison break?  How did they miss the angry black man who was set up by Miles?  You’d think that that guy would be singing to the warden as soon as he could to save his skin.  No, he won’t talk until the NOPD has a warrant.  Since when do the police need a warrant to talk to someone in prison?  Have they seen even one episode of Law and Order?

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Chapter 13 1:10:11 – 1:15:09

Santiago cautions Aiken about shooting into a moving vehicle but Aiken tells the snipers to shoot anyway.  Danny is listening in and before the shot is taken he tells Miles and Molly to get down.  He is grazed in the shoulder.  The bus stops, everyone runs off and Miles slips away in the crowd with Molly.  Danny sees Aiken and punches him.  While Danny receives medical attention, Carver arrives and tells him it wasn’t his fault.  Carver also says they have the name of a man with whom Miles played chess who was recently paroled.  They get the address and Carver goes to talk to him.

Santiago tells Danny he can help and asks Danny to trust him.  Danny talks to Miles and Miles says there are five numbers in the envelope he gave him.  If he calls the right one, then the round will end.  If he calls the wrong one then a bomb at one of four locations. Danny has 60 seconds to decide.  They realize that the numbers spell out locations in the city including City Hall and the Convention center.  They run out of time and Danny calls a number.  Miles answers and tells him he has disabled the brakes on a cable car.  Miles and Santiago jump in a car and head off.

Analysis

At least Santiago realizes how stupid Aiken’s plan is.  Why don’t they stop the bus first?  Why did they pick that terrible location to shoot, with such distance and all those pillars in the way?  I also don’t understand why Danny saves Miles.  Just grab Molly and reach out and grab Miles’ hand.  Clearly, thinking under pressure is not Danny’s strong point.   Good thing he’s not in a profession where he has to make important decisions under stress.  The FBI picked the location for the shot to be taken.  How is it that they don’t have anyone in the area to help with containment if something goes wrong?  We see all these black Suburbans but they’re all way behind the bus for some reason.  The snipers made it there quickly. Couldn’t they have had other personnel to cordon off the area as well as medical personnel, in case something went wrong?  Aiken is a dolt; he deserved to be punched.  Although Danny could have reached out and grabbed Miles’ hand and just held him there with his enormous upper body strength until reinforcements arrived.  Instead, he just sat there.

Carver tells Danny it wasn’t his fault.  Um, how do you know?  You weren’t there, Carver, how would you know ANYTHING that happened on the bus?  And you’re wrong, Carver.  It’s all Danny’s fault.  This is where I would like to see Aiken in full dick mode and just lambaste Danny.  But apparently, no one asked Dannywhat happened on the bus.  I guess it wasn’t important.  Carver, by the way, can make it through the city with incredible ease.  He’s everywhere.

The next round is so idiotic.  Each subsequent round gets worse and worse and less and less believable.  Sure, the numbers might correspond to locations, but they also could correspond to phrases, or all sorts of gibberish.  Danny’s texting ability is absurd – that he can somehow pull out the locations, hitting the numbers enough times to get just the letter he needed each time.  When Danny calls a number somehow his phone, which we assume hasn’t been doctored by Miles since it was given to him by the FBI, is able to send two separate signals.  One goes through the cell towers and to Miles’ phone.  The other goes either directly to the moving trolley, or it goes through the cell towers to the little bomb on the trolley.  Or, and this is the most likely scenario, as soon as Danny calls any number, Miles is going to answer and he would set off the trolley bomb.  So, Miles is obviously lying again.  But this is beyond the police.

Again, how does Miles manage to put a bomb on the trolley that no one notices?

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Chapter 14 1:15:10 – 1:23:45

Santiago and Danny race to catch the trolley car.  Santiago tries to contact someone to stop the car but is put on hold.  Danny recommends they shut down the power.  Carver goes to the residence of Miles’ confederate, Anthony Deluso.  Deluso sees the police coming on video and leaves his house.  Carver decides to follow him and Deluso leads them to a factory.

Danny places his car in front of the trolley hoping to slow it down. He climbs on top of the trolley and tries to disconnect the power from the car.  When that doesn’t work, he re-enters his car and drives it into a power transformer, cutting off the power to the trolley and part of the city.  The trolley is still moving, however, and Santiago and Fisher are barely able to tell people to move out of the trolley’s way before it crashes into a street fair.

Analysis

Santiago finally injects some intelligence into the proceedings, but not nearly enough.  He tries to contact someone – it’s not clear who -to stop the train or the power to the train.  Why is that the only call he makes?  How about sending someone to warn the people in the path of the train?  How about bringing some of those police officers who are crowded around to help with crowd control?  No, it’s just Danny and Santiago in a car that is going to stop a trolley.  A quick side note: they say the trolley is close to 50 tons in weight.  Are you kidding me?  A Sherman tank only weighed 30 tons.  An Abrams tank weighs 68 tons.  Is it some sort of armored trolley?  Also, since when is Danny worried about a large vehicle crashing into a street fair?  He drove a fire engine directly through an outdoor café.  He didn’t even try to swerve or brake, he just barreled through it.  Maybe he feels guilty now.  Just who the hell decided to have a street fair right in the path of a working trolley?  That car was full of passengers.  Where was their stop – the street fair?

The car in front of the train is terribly filmed. From the wide shots  can see that none of the tires are touching the ground.

Danny and Santiago try valiantly to stop the train, but never do they try to warn the people who are in the path of the train.  IF they had spent ANY time, they could have evacuated that fair instead creating the everyone-for-themselves riot that ensued after they drove a car into the transformer.  Which brings me to the transformer.  Why do they have to jump out of the car?  With the tires, the car would be grounded and they’d be safe inside.  Also, which power supply did they cut?  They drove the car into the transformer in broad daylight, but we see the power going off at dusk.  Was it a time delay?  Did it turn off the power somewhere on the east coast?  Also, that’s a terrible plan.  Does Danny know where all the power grids lead?  What if he cut power to a hospital or some other crucial facility?  He just unilaterally decided to black out a sector of New Orleans, a city with a less than sterling record of civility in the face of no power.  Where is the Chief of Police or the Mayor in all this?  I’d settle for an appearance by Danny’s immediate supervisor at this point.  Does he report to anyone besides his good buddy Carver?

 

Let's get out of here before someone realizes we cut off power to an entire ward.

Let’s get out of here before someone realizes we cut off power to an entire ward.

Carver follows Deluso into a welding factory.  Well, that’s what Carver says.  I guess it has been closed due to the economy since it’s full of equipment, yet wide open with no one working there.  However, I have to hand it to Deluso.  He’s been out of prison for three weeks and yet he has a nice apartment complete with a sweet closed circuit camera system.

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Chapter 15 1:23:45 – 1:29:12

As Danny and Santiago deal with the aftermath of the trolley crash, Carver closes in on Deluso.  Miles calls Danny and Danny says the rounds are getting easier.  Miles says rounds 10 and 11 are: Danny’s best friend taking out Deluso, and Miles taking out Danny’s best friend.  Danny tries to call Carver but has no luck.

Carver follows Deluso to a room on the top floor of the factory where he sees maps and plans for all the events that have happened that day.  Deluso is waiting for Carver and holds him at gun point.  He calls Miles and mocks Carver.  Miles sets off a claymore mine that explodes and kills Carver and Deluso.

Aiken arrives at the scene of the trolley/street fair collision and informs Danny that Carver is dead.  He tells Danny how he almost caught Miles selling weapons but one of the weapons he sold was used to shoot down a passenger jet.  The car he carries was the only thing he was able to salvage from the wreckage.

Miles calls and says round 12 is about to start.  He asks if Danny is sorry for killing Erica and that Molly has a bomb strapped to her that can only be deactivated by Danny’s thumbprint.  Danny agrees to let Aiken help him and he, Aiken, and Santiago head to the cemetery where Erica is buried.

Analysis

Carver is terrible at searching buildings.  He walks into a room and doesn’t notice Deluso standing (not even hiding) with a gun pointed at him.  Also, Deluso’s gun makes a clicking noise, even though it has no outside hammer to pull back.  Carver’s partner disappears, as did his entire team of people who were sent to capture Deluso.  Lucky stroke for them, however, as Miles has a remote control claymore mine sitting on the floor.  It’s right next to Deluso’s foot but somehow he doesn’t notice it.  Also, the thing arms, lights up, makes a noise, jumps up in the air, and all Deluso and Carver do is stand there and take it.  How about hitting the floor?  No, Carver thinks it’s more important to call the guy a bitch.  Priorities.  Also, how could Miles possibly have figured out the order in which the police would catch up with Deluso?  Did he know it would take place after the trolley?  And technically, Danny isn’t participating in those two rounds.

 

Detective Carver, do you happen to see anything on the floor?

Detective Carver, do you happen to see anything on the floor?

Aiken is now worthless.  He tells the story of how he almost caught but lost Miles and the weapons.  A missile was used to shoot down a plane.  Hey, Aiken, how about you worry about the people who shot down the plane?  Who’s a bigger threat

How did that toy car Aiken salvaged that survive?  It’s in mint condition even though it was in a plane crash brought on by a missile strike.  Also, what was Aiken, a US FBI agent, doing at a crash site in Pakistan?

Miles says Molly has a bomb strapped to her chest, only this one has a panel that only Danny’s thumb can disarm.  That means he must have removed the bomb he had on her and replaced it with yet another bomb.  Where did he get Danny’s thumb print?  Was it in his copy of Danny Fisher for Dummies (Now with Fingerprints!)?  Where does he get all these explosives and thumbprint readers?   When they deduce that Molly is at Erica’s grave, they hop into the cars and speed off.  Where the hell are they going?  They have no idea where Erica is buried.  We assume it’s in New Orleans because if Miles is telling the truth he couldn’t be far since he was in New Orleans recently.  But, really, what are the chances she’s buried in New Orleans?  Even if she is, they don’t know where in New Orleans she’s buried so just speeding off aimlessly doesn’t help.  Chances are they’re heading in the wrong direction.  Santiago asks for a police escort, even though he’s ALREADY IN A POLICE CAR!  His car has lights and sirens, and he’s being followed by two marked units and no one knows where they’re going!

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Chapter 16 1:29:13 – 1:33:14

Aiken, Santiago, and Danny race to the cemetery while the NOPD and NOFD are summoned to the cemetery as well.  Danny is frustrated and wonders why Miles is making him perform all these tasks.  Danny receives a call from another detective who says he was working on the last thing that Carver assigned him to do.  He traced the calls to the five numbers from the previous round and found that they all went to the bomb under the trolley and that Miles had remote cameras in the elevator shaft and he set off the charges in the elevator five seconds early, resulting in Willie the Security Guard’s death.  Danny stops the car and he, Aiken, and Santiago discuss Miles’ motive, deciding that Miles wants money.  They run a background check on Willie and find that he works for Homewood Security as well as the hotel.  They retrace the steps that Danny has taken throughout the day and realize that he has cut gas lines and created an evacuation of a three block area around the hotel, and he has cut power to an area of the city.  Also, when power is cut Homewood Security has been contracted to move money to safeguard it.  One of the buildings in the area is a holding facility for the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.

Miles is shown in a Homewood Security uniform telling someone that he has been sent by the office to take Willie’s place.  He drives with another security agent and they walk into the building, convincing the guards on duty to open the vault.  The vault has out of circulation bills valuing $100 million.

Aiken sends Santiago to lock down the building while he and Danny continue to the cemetery to save Molly.

Analysis

How does the detective at the NOPD track Miles’ phones?  First, the FBI with all their resources was flummoxed trying to trace the calls Danny was making when he was were using an active line.  Second, how would this detective know what phone was receiving the calls?  It was used to detonate a bomb.  What kind of phone is this that can survive a bomb blast and still be traced by one guy at a desk in a police department?

Then the police find the cameras in the elevator shaft.   But that’s not the best part.  They were able to track the cameras to where they were sending their video feeds.  And, Miles in his infinite wisdom, decided to make tapes of it and leave them lying around for the police to find.  I thought this guy was supposed to think of everything.  Didn’t he think those might be bad for someone to find?

Why would New Orleans have a private security company move US currency from a US government facility just because the power went out?  It’s in a giant vault.  If the power is out it’s still in a vault.  Why move it?  And why would you trust Homewood Security to move $100 million?  They just sent two guys with the same equipment as Barney Fife.  Armored car companies send more guys in an armored car with shotguns, protective gear, and better equipment for a fraction of the money. Where the fuck is the Treasury Department?

Wouldn’t Miles’ partner be suspicious that they are moving so much money and some Irish guy he’s never seen before (an Irish guy, mind you, whose face should be everywhere, as he is a wanted terrorist) just shows up to take the place of the morbidly obese partner he usually has?  I mean, can’t he even call the office?   Also, if the area has been evacuated because of a gas leak, why are there still security guards there?  Wouldn’t they also be at risk?  And shouldn’t that area be cordoned off by the police?  How does Miles get past them?

Here’s where the movie’s insipid plot becomes revealed.  The big twist is that Miles is doing all of this just to rob a bank.  He has been running guns, selling weapons, collecting diamonds, and who knows what else, but apparently he still needs extra money.  Rather than leave the country, or try to meet up with prior contacts, he decides to rob a bank, and he needs one idiot detective to do all his dirty work.

A quick review of what Miles did, all in three weeks.

  • broke out of jail and framed someone for it, after killing guards (with his bare hands?).
  • contacted Deluso, and procured a large amount of explosives, detonators, a military grade claymore mine, Sim cards, vehicles, fingerprint readers, radios, cameras, recording equipment, a Homewood Security uniform, and a fake ID card.  Where the hell did he get all that stuff?
  • wired security cameras (cameras, plural!) and explosives in the elevator shaft of a working hotel.  Did he shut down the elevator shaft so he could climb in there to do that?
  • wired Danny’s house to be blown to smithereens without Danny or Molly knowing about it.
  • wired Danny’s car to explode without him knowing about it.
  • wired the brakes on a street car to explode and be detonated by someone calling any of five numbers.
  • stashed all the boxes through the city.
  • spray painted a clue on a wall, released a smoke bomb in a bank, put a bomb and a clue into two separate safety deposit boxes.  Did he open an account there or did he just break in?
  • rented a room at a hotel where he had recording equipment set up.
  • set up Deluso to be killed by a mine without Deluso knowing about it.
  • plan all of this, without the benefits (we assume) of blueprints of buildings, street maps, gas lines schematics, etc..  Or, maybe he was allowed to research all of this on the prison computers and no one monitored it or thought it was odd.
  • He did all of this in three fucking weeks!

He does all this to create three effects:  a loss of power to a section of the city, a broken gas line, and the death a corpulent security guard/securing of the guard’s ID.  He could have dropped that elevator anytime he wanted, or set an explosive on the gas line.  He could have cut the power whenever he wanted by driving a car into a transformer or using some of his limitless explosives/remote detonators to blow it up.  He  could have just killed Willie at home and taken his ID.  Miles is brilliant in that he’s able to predict the behavior of people he doesn’t know at all, but he’s a dolt if he doesn’t see his plan is far more complicated than necessary.

Finally, Danny asks Aiken to help him because Aiken knows Miles, then Danny proceeds to figure everything out on his own.

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Chapter 17 1:33:15 – 1:38:10

Danny and Aiken wonder how Miles will get the money out of the city and Aiken says only emergency vehicles are allowed in and out of the secure area.  Danny remembers the fire engine and stops heading towards the cemetery.  He deduces that everything he did that day served a purpose, and that Miles had planned it.  Aiken calls the hospital and asks for security.

Miles kills the guards at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving,  puts the money into a grate, and then turns the water on.  He climbs down into a tunnel under the grate and comes up onto the street in front of the Hotel Monteleone, where Willie died.  He goes to the fire engine in the alley and uses the pump to suck water from the tunnel, which has the money in it,  into the engine.  Molly is tied up in the back of the engine.  Miles changes clothes and drives to the hospital where Molly works, detonating another bomb along the way.  He pulls into the hospital ambulance bay, puts the money into body bags, and he and Molly move the bags through the hospital and up to the roof.  When the elevator opens there are two security guards whom Miles shoots.  He places the body bags into the medevac helicopter and asks Molly if she can fly them to Tahiti.

Aiken and Danny arrive at the hospital and see the helicopter starting on the roof.  Miles cuts off the radio in the chopper and tells Molly to fly as Aiken and Danny run into the hospital.

Analysis

Let’s start with a favorite game of young children everywhere.  Where in the World is Agent Santiago?  Aiken tells him to go secure the mint but we see Miles nonchalantly taking all the money, placing it on a cart, wheeling it to the sewer, turning on the water, breaking up all the bills and dumping them into the water, crawling through the sewer, moving the fire engine, sucking all the water and bills into the fire engine, and changing his clothes somewhere in there.  Santiago is nowhere to be seen.  Did he lose his police escort and get stuck in traffic?  Meanwhile, Danny and Aiken go towards the cemetery, stop, turn around, make some calls, and arrive at the hospital shortly after Miles.  Couldn’t Santiago call ahead and have some units check on the money?  Maybe he could have one of the officers who are supposed to be cordoning off the area and only allowing emergency vehicles in or out look in on the $100 million. Maybe he could have used the units that should be there enforcing the evacuation order, but apparently, he didn’t think it was necessary to call nor did anyone feel it was necessary to prevent people from walking back into the gas leak area.

Mile’s plan gets more ridiculous by the minute.  What manner of subterranean tunnel does he use to move the money?  Is there some sort of trough under the Bureau of Printing and Engraving building and the Hotel Monteleone that just goes under the street?  It looked to me a lot like the sewer, which generally goes all over the city.  That money should have been washed into the Gulf of Mexico, instead of just pooling under the hotel.  The vault area is deserted, Santiago clearly isn’t making it there anytime soon, so why not just wheel the money right to the fire engine?

That brings me to the fire engine.  Why did the NOFD just leave it there?  I’ve never seen an unattended fire engine outside of a fire house.  Just because its bumper is scuffed they just abandon it in some alley? There are explosions everywhere and the fire department just leaves a functional engine parked in an alley, apparently with the keys in it?  And if Miles plans on using it to slip past the police, why does he put on a blazer and t-shirt?   Did he think people would just assume he was Sonny Crocket and it was ok?

Miles takes Molly to the hospital, but blows up yet another building on the way.  Why the hell did he do that?  Were there just some left over explosives that he decided to toss into a random building on the way?  They make it to the hospital and for some reason are allowed to drive a fire truck into the ambulance bay.  What hospital has an ambulance bay large enough to hold a fire engine, and why doesn’t that attract any attention?  We assume that Miles forces Molly to load the water-logged bills into body bags, along with extra water, because clearly she would just run if he did it himself and didn’t hold her at gun point.  No one goes to the garage to see what the fire engine is doing there while all that happens?  Aiken called the hospital to warn them!

Miles takes Molly at gunpoint through the hospital with body bags that are leaking water and no one notices.  Mollys not a doctor, she’s the medevac pilot, but I guess it’s common for her to push dead bodies around and take them to the roof.  Also, she appears to be the only pilot as the helicopter is just sitting there on the roof even though there have been something like five explosions, a trolley/street fair collision, several car accidents, a gas leak, and a power outage.   No one stops to ask her, “Hey, Molly, the city is in shambles, where have you been?”.  She never thinks to say “Help!”.  Anyone could have tackled Miles and it’s game over.  At this point, Molly might be in collusion with him.

When Miles and Molly step out of the elevator, there are two guards who just stand there and get shot, even though they already had their weapons drawn and were pointing them right at where Miles appeared.  He was able to turn, keep Molly at bay, acquire two targets, shoot one, then move his weapon and shoot the other. The whole time the two guards just stand there.  Dumbasses.  How did Miles know they were there?  More importantly, how did they know Miles was in the elevator?  Sure we see Aiken warn security but how could they know where in the hospital he was?  Miles walks out of the elevator, he turns his back to Molly, why doesn’t she just take the elevator to another floor?  The next scene, she’s helping Miles push the bags up to the helicopter.  Watch the scene, she’s pushing the cart while he’s pulling and has his gun pointed in the other direction.

They make it to the helicopter and now we realize that Miles’s plan is to have Molly fly him away with the money in her chopper.  I guess she also helped him load the money into the vehicle as well.  How does he think he’ll get away with flying to Tahiti in a helicopter?  The FBI can EASILY track that helicopter and once they’re in the air, Miles can’t kill Molly because he needs her to fly the chopper, so she can just fly wherever she wants.  When Molly asks him where he wants to go, he answers with the most absurd line in the movie, saying he wants to go to Tahiti.  I’ll wait while you look up Tahiti.  Do you see it? Can’t find it?  It’s way the fuck out in the Pacific Ocean.  It’s 5,134 miles from New Orleans to Tahiti and the record for the longest flight in a helicopter is 1,932 miles in a small, prototype helicopter.  It’s a mind-numbingly stupid getaway plan.

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Chapter 18 1:38:11 – End

In the helicopter, Miles directs Molly to fly the helicopter while pointing a gun at her.  She tries to stall, but he insists she take off.  They lift off the pad just as Aiken and Danny reach the roof.  Miles reaches out the window of the helicopter and shoots Aiken.  Aiken tells Danny to continue pursuing Miles.  Miles is distracted looking for Danny and Molly strikes him in the groin with a fire extinguisher, then lowers the chopper so that Danny can run, jump, and catch the runner.  Danny pulls himself up on the runner and Miles confronts him.

Miles tries to shoot Danny, but Danny grabs his wrist and pulls him out onto the runner.  The shots go astray and hit the helicopter, damaging its hydraulic systems.  Danny and Miles fight in the back of the chopper while Molly tries to control it.  Danny gets the better of Miles and talks to Molly, but Miles hits him with a bottle.  They fight some more, Miles stabs Danny with a scalpel and gets his gun back. Danny ends up on his back and Miles is about to shoot him.  Molly distracts Miles by veering and Danny disarms and pummels Miles.

Miles shows Danny that he brought the vest bomb from the bus, and arms it.  Danny grabs Molly and they jump from the helicopter into a roof pool as the helicopter explodes.  Danny and Molly walk away, wet, surrounded by money but otherwise ok.

Analysis

What the hell is Molly doing?  Stalling makes sense, to allow more help to arrive, but really her best plan is to get the helicopter in the air and have Miles completely at her mercy.  He obviously isn’t going to commit suicide.  Just fly the thing to the nearest police station.  Instead, she keeps the helicopter steady while Miles leans out the window and opens fire on the FBI and her boyfriend.  Then, when she finally realizes he stopped paying attention to her 15 minutes ago, she clobbers him with a fire extinguisher.  Molly, dear, that’s your cue to put the damned whirly bird back on the ground, or to keep hitting him.  Instead, she just brings the chopper near the edge so Danny has to risk his life just to reach it.  Once he jumps on to the runner and Miles is no longer paying any attention to her whatsoever, she takes the helicopter straight up in the air.  Look how high she is in that shot with Danny hanging off the runner.  LAND THE GODDAMNED HELICOPTER!

The fight scene is ok, I suppose.  It’s a movie convention that being shot in the forearm or stabbed in the side really doesn’t affect your ability to beat the hell out of a terrorist and really, as stupid as Miles’ plan is, he really deserves a good ass-kicking.  What’s stupid is the bomb.  Why did Miles decide to bring a bomb with him?  The only purpose it could serve would be to blow up his escape plan midair.  Did he plan on being captured and taking everyone with him?  That is a truly terrible plan.

But there are two more ridiculous things left in the movie.  The first is that the bomb vest Miles made to kill one woman by shooting nails into her heart, blows up an entire helicopter.  A helicopter, which by the way, Molly put in perfect position to rain shrapnel down on everyone out on the streets of New Orleans.  The other, is that Danny and Molly jump from what appears to be at least 100 feet in the air, into a pool and are uninjured by the fall.  They don’t even travel more than 6 feet in the water once they hit it.  And when they get out of the water, Danny who has been stabbed in the side and shot in the arm, only has a limp.  Danny doesn’t bother to tell the surprised couple, who own the apartment, to call for an ambulance for the FBI agent on the roof of the hospital who has been gut-shot and is bleeding.  This guy is an asshole.

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1 Thought.

  1. Pingback: 12 Rounds Full review! | The Plot Pedant

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