Wednesday 13 July 2022

REVIEW: Hot Seat (2022) - Starring Kevin Dillon, Mel Gibson, Michael Welch, Sam Asghari, Eddie Steeples and Shannen Doherty

Review by Jon Donnis
With Mel Gibson taking on more of these low to mid budget films, I can say I am firmly in the approval section, for I like Mel Gibson, and despite his problems over the years, he is a good actor and does bring something to the roles he takes on. With that said Kevin Dillon is the true lead in this film.

Kevin Dillon plays Orlando Friar a reformed hacker who now works as an IT expert, spending his days helping old ladies with their internet routers over the phone. 

After being called into work on his daughter's birthday, Orlando gets on a zoom call with his wife, and with his daughter, neither are very happy with him, suddenly he finds that his computer has been hacked, and a mysterious voice tells him if he gets off his chair, it will explode. Caught in such a position, Orlando agrees to help this mysterious person with some hacking with the knowledge if he doesn't, not only will he go boom, but the mysterious person will go after his family. And even worse the mysterious man has already framed Orlando as the bomber of an earlier explosion.

Elsewhere bomb disposal expert Wallace Reed (Mel Gibson) arrives on the scene with his younger partner Jackson (Eddie Steeples). Can they help get to the bottom of what is going on, and not only diffuse any bombs, but also help save Orlando? Are they trying to recreate the chemistry between Gibson and a funny black guy from Lethal Weapon? Does anyone really care as long as the film is good?

The film has a modest budget, and as such most of the film is set in the office where Orlando is trapped, however there is some great interaction between the Reed and Jackson characters, something I think should have taken a much more central role, as Gibson and Steeples have great chemistry.

There quite a few scenes showing Orlando fake typing, and doing the kind of cliche hacking stuff you have seen in Hollywood a million times before, it comes across a bit like what your granny thinks hacking is as opposed to what it really is.

Throw in an aggressive SWAT team guy who wants to just go in and kill everyone, Police Chief Pam Connelly played by Shannen Doherty who is trying to learn from the mistakes of her past and make the right decisions, and you have a decent cast of characters that although unoriginal do their jobs pretty well.

Gibson works best when he has someone to work off and Steeples plays that part well, Kevin Dillon does a good job as the man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and stuck in pretty much one position for most of the film.

The twist you will see a mile off, however when it is revealed, they slightly drag it out a bit, but then recover it with the extra bad guy scene at the end, just to send everyone home happy.

In general, I did enjoy the film, however I have a feeling that either something got left on the cutting room floor, or they really did just do one character dirty. I don't want to say exactly what, as I don't want to spoil the film, but I completely expected something at the very end that did not happen, which leaves me wondering why they would do that, when everything else kind of goes according to what you would expect.

The Good
Simple, straightforward action thrillers are what I live for. I do not care if they are that original, I just want likeable characters, decent tension build up, and a nice finale, and Hot Seat gave me everything I could ask for. It may not be Lethal Weapon, but then nothing is.

The Bad
I want to know what happened to that one character, that is my one annoyance with the film.

I enjoyed Hot Seat, not going to break any records, but a perfectly watchable action thriller that ticks all of the boxes.

I score Hot Seat a solid 8/10

Out Now on Apple TV -