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A Common Man DVD Review

A Common Man DVD

“A Common Man” is a thriller without thrills.

“A Common Man” begins with a nameless man (Ben Kingsley) planting C4 explosives at 5 locations. Via a phone call made to the authorities, we learn that this alleged terrorist is using these bombs as a tool to have 4 specific terrorists released from prison.  Is this man really a terrorist or is this whole threat a great big deception for some personal reason?

With an unnerving opening sequence involving Kingsley’s character planting bombs, “A Common Man” looked to be an intense and disturbing thriller. Unfortunately, that set-up for the movie is basically the whole movie. Everything that follows is Kingsley’s character pacing on a rooftop talking on a cell phone while he waits for the 4 prisoners to be released. There are also a few tiny subplots involving a reporter, high ranking officials dealing with this dilemma, and a police officer whose wife is on a train with a bomb.

Worse than that, however, is the fact the entire script wastes an otherwise intriguing movie from a thematic standpoint. The script is loaded with ideas like morality, terrorism, death, sacrifice, revenge, justice, but writers Neeraj Pandey and Chandran Rutnam drop the ball. It doesn’t help that the sound for the film is absolutely dreadful. In my 15 years of reviewing, I can’t recall seeing a film with a major star having such poor sound quality (in this case the ADR). The blatantly obvious recordings sound so out of place from every scene that it actually becomes a major distraction.

Equally disappointing here is Ben Kingsley’s performance. Throughout the course of his career, it has become apparent that when Kinglsey genuinely cares about his work, he’s great. This is especially evident in the recent “Iron Man 3” in which he showed a surprising amount of personality in a rather unusual role. When Kinglsey is stuck in a project that he probably knows is a clunker (see “Bloodrayne”), he simply walks through the role. Sadly, the latter definitely applies here as Kingsley gives a mostly wooden and dull performance. Granted, he didn’t have much to work with in this poorly scripted affair, but you can’t tell he wasn’t giving it his all here.

Video/Audio:

The film, which is presented in 1.78:1, looks so-so. Some of the exterior shots look impressive, but a lot of the interior scenes look rather cheap and visually uninspired.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is far and away one of the worst I have heard in years. From the horrendous out of synch ADR to the cheesy and overly dramatic score, “A Common Man” sounds like a cheesy 80’s movie production (only it’s not).

The only extras are 2 Anchor Bay trailers.

June 21, 2013 - Posted by | DVD review | ,

1 Comment »

  1. I aee. This movie was godawful.

    Comment by dmanderson | June 22, 2013 | Reply


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