Breakaway

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“Marginally better than having your kneecaps broken. “

breakawayAfter a brisk start, this gradually falls apart, the script collapsing under the strain of too much disbelief, as everyone whizzes around in search of $300,000 in stolen mob money. This was taken by Myra (Thompson), a courier for a gangster boss, Anton (Ray Dash). She wanted out of the business, but makes the mistake of telling him so, and her “last job,” delivering money to a hitman, is actually an ambush. Myra escapes with the cash, causing Anton to send a string of other killers after her, most notably Grey (Joe Estevez). Meanwhile she tries to avoid detection, with the help of both her two-timing boyfriend Carter (DeRose), who is cheating on her with a cafe manager Gina (Harding – yes, it’s that Tonya Harding) and a college professor Dan (Noakes), whom she meets at an art gallery. Everyone schemes, double-crosses and fights each other, to try and recover the brown paper-bag containing the cash, leading to a final battle at Anton’s.

Initially, it’s quite promising, with Myra being efficient and effective in her job, more than capable of taking care of herself. [Her character’s fondness for wearing a really short skirt doesn’t do any harm either!] However, it soon becomes apparent that her survival is equally due to the howling ineptness of everyone whom she comes up against. I don’t know if the aim was to make Anton and his minions out to be lovable buffoons, but if so, it only half succeeds: they nail the “buffoon” part in the bulls-eye. Which is a lot better shooting than can be said for the henchmen, since they couldn’t hit a barn if they were inside it. This starts off amusing, until you realize their incompetence is not a joke.

It’s the kind of film where, if everyone behaved with any morsel of common sense, things would be over in 10 minutes. Instead, you have frequently to resist the urge to yell at the screen, whenever the characters instead behave with the willful stupidity necessary to the plot. As noted, some of the elements here have potential, Thompson among them. It’s unfortunate that the makers did not apparently have enough confidence in her ability to carry the film, and chose to throw all the other plot threads on top. These don’t add depth or complexity, so much as unnecessary encumbrance. Grey is the only other character with any credibility, and the film would have been much better, if it had been stripped down to he vs. she. Junk the minions, junk Carter and, especially, junk Gina, because Harding’s performance serves solely as a demonstration of the gulf between professional actors and amateur ones.

Dir: Sean Dash
Star: Teri Thompson, Tony Noakes, Chris DeRose, Tonya Harding

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