UK Release Date: 2011
Watched on Sky+ Monday 13th August 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I really wasn’t too sure just what to expect from this one; I knew virtually nothing about it when I hit the ‘Play’ button. The little I did know was enough to lure me in so I guess the guys that write the blurb in the TV guide did a good job! Maybe not the best made film ever, but it’s certainly compelling! I will tell you more after this very brief summary.
Four lucky people, Jo, Max, David and Gwen have won an all-expenses paid trip to New York in an online competition through a social networking site. I guess I should say at this point that this is a British film. They are all quite excited about the trip and don’t even mind too much when their mobile phones are confiscated before they board the private jet laid on for the journey. It is announced that there is to be a series of games during the flight with big extra prizes up for grabs. But after the first round of questions none of them are very keen to continue. The quizmaster, Alligator, seems to know a lot more about the contestants than they realise and he’s using this information against them. How will the game pan out and what is Alligator’s purpose? Well, I guess I had better not answer that here or the Spoiler Police (Online Division) will have me cleaning out the smut filters (again).
With most of the action taking place on the plane I did find this one a little claustrophobic, but then again I guess that might have been intentional. A small budget can’t have helped too much either. Decent performances all round, although nobody really stood out, so honourable mentions go to; Scarlett Alice Johnson as Jo, Jack Gordon as Max, Michael Jibson as Dave, Elen Rhys as Gwen and Joshua Richards as Alligator.
Although I did find it quite compelling I felt quite detached from the characters. I guess I didn’t care about them enough for the film to have any great impact. It’s quite well made, given the constraints of the budget; I just felt it didn’t quite have enough to make me rave about it. It does flag a little about half way through and I found the ending slightly predictable. Still, it’s worth a look if you have a spare 90 minutes or so.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED.
My Score 6.3/10
IMDb Score: 5.1/10 (based on 2,504 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: No Data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 28/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 219 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Official Site: http://www.panicbuttonmovie.com/