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What good is a panic room when you can't leave it?
Panic Room (DVD)
Member Name: neillus182
Panic Room (DVD)
Advantages: Well acted and written
Disadvantages: Few plot holes
Now, a film set almost entirely in one house is always going to be a tough one to pull off, but this film manages it mostly due to its casting, allthough there are a few flaws.
Though, with director David Fincher in the seat, who also directed Seven, Fight Club, and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, we were always going to get something atleast semi decent. It's just a surprsie Brad Pitt wasn't in this too....
A mother (Jodie Foster) and her young daughter (Kristen Stewart) have just moved into their new house in New York. It's massive, empty, and has a panic room for safety, though, unknown to them, the previous owner had stashed a vast amount of money in the house.
Who IS aware of the money though is a robber nicknamed Junior (Jared Leto) who brings his buddies Burnham (Forest Whitaker) and Raoul (Dwight Yoakam) Though things don't go as planned when the family manage to hide away in the panic room and lock themselves in. The problem being of course is that the panic room is where the money is stashed...
This of course leads to a plot which is as much a drama as it is a thriller.
Now, of course with a film like this the director was going to have to add character traits and twists to keep things going. For instance, the young girl is diabetic, the mother is impressively aggressive, Raoul is mildly psychotic, and Durnham is warm hearted. These band together to keep things going quite nicely, and the mix of traits mean that the criminals clash with each other as much as with their captives.
The acting here is pretty top notch, with Jodie Foster very believable as the extremely protective mother with a temper. Kristen Stewart, more known now as Bella in Twilight, is also great as the fairly cold and very intelligent daughter. From this movie alone it was quite clear she wouldn't only be a child actor, as she is genuinly on par with Whitaker here when it comes to believable acting.
Forest Whitaker is pretty impressive, although this is no way his best performance, he manages to convincingly play the bad guy with a consciounce well.
Jared Leto is also fairly entertaining as the energetic Junior, whose emotions are clearly his downfall. Leto also is probably more known for being the singer for 30 Seconds To Mars, and he is clearly a very multi talented guy.
The action scenes are done pretty well, and the film never manages to get tired, even though it has quite a bit of drama in it. This is mainly because the acting is to the level where drama is actually acceptable, in the same way that Fincher pulls off drama scenes in Fight Club and Seven.
There are a few possible plot holes though. It seemed odd to me that the previous owner had a very flash panic room, but the burglar is able to simply pick the lock and sneak in. I mean, what's the point of a panic room if you have no other security, thus enabling people to just walk in and you won't notice? Also, one of the burglars is an expert on panic rooms, though he didn't know you could speak in through an intercom, but the mum who has been in the house for one day did?
I guess you could look past these...The owner might have had his flash locks removed by the estate agent? The intercom might be a unique thing with this one? Who knows, it's fun to pick holes in things anyway :)
I really did enjoy this movie. A mix of good acting, a good director, and a pretty entertaining script work together to make this an above par claustrophobic thriller, that i would definately recommend to any fan of thrillers and horrors.
Summary: Overall, a pretty good action movie