Director: James Cullen Bressack
Cast: Kevin Dillon, Mel Gibson, Shannen Doherty
Release Date: August 9, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 4.5/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
Oscar-winner Mel Gibson brings this explosive cyber-thriller to life. The action begins as IT expert Friar (Kevin Dillon, Poseidon) finds a hair-trigger bomb strapped to his desk chair. An unseen hacker orders him to steal digital funds online—or have his daughter abducted. As a fearless bomb expert (Gibson) arrives on the scene, the hacker frames Friar as the bomber. The tension mounts as Friar races to clear his name and expose the real terrorist—without getting himself blown to smithereens.
Please Note: Lionsgate Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Hot Seat’ follows IT expert and family man Orlando Friar who is trying to get his life together but forced to work a hectic schedule. Soon what should be an ordinary work day finds him with a bomb strapped to his chair and a man having hacked into their security system now ordering him to commit a slew of illegal digital crimes if he doesn’t want to be blown to bits. Now this talented computer whiz will have to play along with his abductor and continue doing what he’s told while trying to find a way to get help. But when the terrorist bomb experts arrive, Friar is conveniently framed as the mastermind, leading his one potential source of rescue to start gunning for him.
Directed by James Cullen Bressack (Survive the Game, Fortress 2021) and written by Collin Watts & Leon Langford, Bressack does a solid job at the helm of ‘Hot Seat’ keeping things looking slick and clean throughout, while utilizing the limited locations quite well. The film’s cast includes Kevin Dillon (TV’s Entourage), Mel Gibson (Fatman), Shannen Doherty (Fortress 2021), Sam Asghari (TV’s Black Monday) and more, with the majority offering decent enough performances for the most part in each of their respective roles, although the notably generic dialogue and script doesn’t give them a great deal of opportunity to impress with.
‘Hot Seat’ is a decent thriller in many respects with a solid cast at its disposal, a capable and stylish look and a fairly enticing premise at its core. Unfortunately it also falls flat in a few too many areas to really excel and ends up delivering a somewhat mediocre offering when all is said and done. The cast does what they can with the material and both Dillon and Gibson hold their own, but the silly twists and turns that it occasionally throws out, not to mention the painfully generic and familiar dialogue eventually becomes difficult to ignore. Even with its positive points and a generally engulfing storyline it slowly becomes more of a carbon copy of various other films lazily shuffled together than anything unique or overly clever.
If you’re a diehard fan of leads Mel Gibson and/or Kevin Dillon or you’re just looking for a simple and uncomplicated film to relax with after a rough day then you may end up enjoying ‘Hot Seat’ and if you come across it on your favorite streaming service or cable channel, then you could certainly do a lot worse than this one. Even with its problems and unfortunate tendency to just mimic similar films throughout, it still manages to serve up an enjoyable enough outing that shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping your attention throughout.
Overall, ‘Hot Seat’ is an enjoyable enough thriller at times with a noteworthy cast and a premise that’s intriguing enough to get your attention. Unfortunately a painfully unoriginal script littered with some overly silly moments and uninspired, generic dialogue keeps it from ever really becoming anything special and also prevents the talented cast from any real opportunity to excel within. For those of you that are determined to check it out or are big fans of the lead stars, I would strongly encourage playing it safe and renting a copy as opposed to making a blind purchase. If you’re intrigued by the film or happen to come across it when you have some free time then it certainly wouldn’t hurt to give a whirl, especially if you can go in with your expectations at least somewhat in check.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Hot Seat’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty good as a whole and delivers a sharp and well detailed presentation from start to finish that capably captures everything from skin tones to backgrounds. It holds up smoothly even during the few darkly lit or fast moving moments and keeps everything that’s occurring onscreen looking sharp and clean every step of the way without any unexpected issues or troubles arising. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that shouldn’t have any trouble satisfying viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack isn’t necessarily exceptional but it does its job quite well and provides a clean, sharp and well balanced audio presentation throughout. It takes advantage of all five available channels on occasion in order to allow some of the music, along with minor action effects and the like to seep into the surround channels. It largely tends to keep much of the audio activity front center and never results in any audio elements conflicting with one another, let alone causing any dialogue or other audio content to become distorted or problematic. Overall, this is a quite capable 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that may not stand out as extraordinary but never disappoints either.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Hot Seat’ doesn’t include any bonus content aside from the film’s ‘Trailer’ (running approximately 2 minutes in length).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 4.5/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
‘Hot Seat’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Grindstone Entertainment Group & Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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