Monday, April 17, 2017

Heatstroke (2013)

Number Rolled: 39
Movie Name/Year: Heatstroke (2013)
Tagline: Run. Fight. Survive. The hunt is on.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Length: 91 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Bold Films, Film Afrika Worldwide
Producer: Theuns De Wet, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak, Gary Michael Walters, Jörg Westerkamp, David Wicht
Director: Evelyn Purcell
Writer: Anne Brooksbank, Hannah Nyala, Evelyn Purcell
Actors: Stephen Dorff, Svetlana Metkina, Maisie Williams, Peter Stormare, Warrick Grier, Calvin Hayward, Jeanne Neilson, Ndalo Stofile, Andrew Roux
Stunt Doubles: Oliver Bailey

Blurb from Netflix: When a scientist comes face-to-face with dangerous arms dealers on a family trip, his girlfriend is left to protect the man’s teenage daughter.

Selina’s Point of View:
I thought this would be an awesome film and I’m happy to say I was right.

The trailer was pretty clear on exactly what we’d see in Heatstroke. Maybe a touch too clear. There are things I knew going in that I wish I hadn’t known. I feel like surprising me with certain aspects of the plot would have led to my having a greater enjoyment of the film as a whole.

I don’t want to be more specific because we don’t deal in spoilers on Trust the Dice. Maybe you picked it up from the trailer, maybe I just did because I watch hundreds of trailers every month. I can’t be sure, so I have to speak cryptically.

Even with my preference to know less going in, I still really liked what I saw.

The acting was very good. Stephen Dorff (Tomorrow You’re Gone, American Hero, Brake) is a clear professional and Maisie Williams (Doctor Who, Cyberbully, The Book of Love), although young, is incredibly experienced from her work on the tough-to-act Game of Thrones (2011-). Svetlana Metkina (Evidence, Knife Edge, Slingshot) was the one actor that was new to me, but I really enjoyed her take on the reluctant step-mother figure. There were certain aspects of the plot that her character reacted to in a unique way – and that made it much more believable on a psychological level.

Of the bad guys, I found Warrick Grier (Dredd, Striving for Freedom, The Color of Freedom) the easiest to understand. He just fit better into the story, and acted more memorably, than the other antagonist actors.

I haven’t read the book Heatstroke was based on, so I don’t know how closely this film resembles the original work. However, it did make me want to read the source material – which I count as a success.

There were a couple of moments that didn’t seem all that realistic to me, and they almost pulled me out of it. Those moments were so minor, though, that I was able to chalk them up to teenage hormones or grief gone awry. Both those things make people react in ways that aren’t quite seen as normal. I should know. I was a weird-ass grieving teen once.

Even with its faults, I would absolutely watch Heatstroke again. I’ll be hunting down the book as well.

Cat’s Point of View:
I didn’t really read the blurbs or watch the trailer before sitting down to watch this movie. I’d seen a poster and was anticipating some sort of action movie with Stephen Dorff (Rites of Passage, The Debt, Wheeler) as the hero. That wasn’t exactly what I got, but I’m not that disappointed.

This was an intense hour and a half. Some aspects of the film were predictable, but it also took me in directions I didn’t anticipate. The movie was certainly effective in portraying a harrowing experience for its characters.

I loved Maisie Williams (Gold, The Falling, iBoy) in the role of an angsty iPad obsessed teenager out of her element. I had high expectations for her, and have enjoyed seeing her career take off as she explores roles far removed from her embattled Stark of Westeros. 

The spotted hyenas in the tale were also a wonderful element.  They were adorable, and at the same time just the right wild element to raise the stakes on the character’s survival.

The movie wasn’t without its issues, but I was invested enough that I didn’t really care. This isn’t something I’d necessarily watch again; but I would definitely have no problems recommending it.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 9%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 19%

Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Cat’s Rating3/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R

Movie Trailer:

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