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Momentum

List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted August 14, 2005 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

Momentum is a crime thriller that deals with a gang of telekinetic criminals, which means it's exactly the sort of cable-flick fodder you've seen a thousand times before, only this time the main characters can move objects around with their minds. Ironic that a movie so singularly obsessed with kinetic motion would be so irretrievably stagnant and inert, but there you have it.

The oddly-named Grayson McCouch plays a college professor who keeps his telekinetic powers a secret. But when he helps to thwart a robbery using his strange skills, Zach earns the attention of a shadowy double agent called Addision (Louis Gossett Jr.). Zach is enlisted to infiltrate a rogue gang of telekinetickers, four powerful criminals who use their powers to crack bank vaults, fling office products around without touching them, and punch people out from across the room.

And, of course, Zach soon comes to realize that the outlaws are actually not that bad after all (kinda), and that Addison has a few dark secrets of his own. Toss a pair of mismatched FBI agents into the mix, and you're looking at a cable flick that's as aggressively silly as it is painfully familiar -- not to mention overtly pedantic.

For all its pregnant pauses and overbaked dialogue, Momentum is actually directed with some surprising color and style. But it would take a lot more than director James Seale's relative skill behind the camera to salvage a concept this relentlessly goofy. Momentum borrows quite liberally from Scanners, X-Men, Firestarter, The X-Files, and a variety of others, resulting a stew of familiar concepts and stock characters.

The cast members seem bored and uniformly disinterested. Leading man McCouch brings a soap-opera swagger and very little else; Lou Gossett and Teri Hatcher (as one of the FBI agents-in-pursuit) deliver line readings that range from entirely bland to outright confused. Only Michael Massee, as the head bad-ass telekineticist, manages to bring any sort of spark to the proceedings -- although he too is saddled with dialogue that borders on self-parody. Gremlins' Zach Galligan pops up for precisely two scenes as an FBI stooge, if that's worth anything to you.

The whole of Momentum plays out like a lazy little pilot for the Fox network, and I suspect that the only reason it's been unleashed from the Mirmax vault is that A) Teri Hatcher is now a "hot item" again with her success on Desperate Housewives, and B) Miramax is presently in the process of releasing everything that's been stuck on their back shelves for the past five years.

The DVD

Video: The Widescreen (1.85:1) Anamorphic transfer is quite excellent; indeed, it's probably a whole lot better than the movie actually deserves.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, with optional subtitles in English and French.

Extras: The Sin City trailer opens the presentation, but is nowhere to be found among the menu options.

Final Thoughts

Just another painfully dry police procedural infused with the added novelty of "objects flying around," Momentum offers nothing you haven't seen before. And for a flick called "Momentum," it's pretty surprising how little of it the movie actually displays.

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