QUICKSAND

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Quicksand Cover Did you know that British actor, Michael Caine, did not come up with the catch-phrase he is well-known for 'Not a lot of people know that'? It was another British actor instead, Peter Seller. But I wonder if he came up with anything associated with this production? You know, this drama Directed by John Mackenzie; and Starring: Michael Keaton, Michael Caine, and Judith Godreche. It was made in 2003 and lasted for 90 minutes.


Quicksand


THE STORY:
Just like the tight-ass Banker that he is, Martin Raikes (Michael Keaton), thought that his next assignment would be a pretty straight forward task for him to accomplish. Firstly, he would have to fly over to Monaco, and check out the accounts associated to a movie starring actor, Jake Mellows (Michael Caine). Secondly, he would pop over to England for a short while, and visit his estranged daughter. And thirdly, he would return back to America again, a very happy man indeed.

Now I am sure that you will agree with me when I say that Martin's three step plan does sound pretty simple to carry out. Correct? Still, how the hell was Martin supposed to know that when he asks to look into these account with some more depth, that he would then be framed for murder after he turns down the offer of a bribe!

Ooops!

However, now that he has been put into this situation, what can Martin do to rectify it? Call his office back home for some more assistance? No. I'm sorry to say that this endeavor does not do him any good really. OK, so what about if he contacts the local police for some help then? No. They are more willing to kill him than assist him. Well, what about that pretty young lady who is associated with this film? Lela Forin (Judith Godreche)? Yeah. She would be just perfect.

You see, Lela's boss, Oleg Butraskaya (Rade Sherbedgia), is a very-very bad man behind the scenes. He's a drug smugger. He's a people trafficker. He launders money through his productions. Plus he is the mastermind who framed Martin in the first place.

Though, that's most probably why what next transpires shifts gear when Oleg's men kidnaps Martins daughter. As videos are sent - actors get bent - team-ups feel natural - and resolutions are strangely unilateral.




THE REVIEW:
This afternoon I watched a cookery completion on the television, where eight top-class chefs competed against each other to cook an exemplary meal. Now the specification each chef was given, involved them to create something outstanding with the ingredients they themselves have chosen for their dishes. Not fine. Not fair. Not solid. Outstanding and exemplary. And do you know what? If 'Quicksand' was something served up by one of these chefs, I am sad to say that it would not have made the grade. 

Listen; please don't take my remark the wrong way. I like this film quite a lot. All the actors are great. The overall storyline is a nice one to follow. And by in large this picture is a pretty solid piece of work. However, sometimes 'solid' is not always good enough -- because I felt that this flick needed a bit more 'oomph' to propel it into the hemisphere and back.


Caine and Keaton in Quicksand


Hey! Please allow me to explain to you what I mean by this in a very simple fashion: (1) Every scene which had the two Michael's in it literally shone through the screen. For example, the last third of this thriller both of their characters team-up and fight back against the bad-guy, giving this piece that extra edge that it desperately needed. But I really would have liked to have seen a lot more of this. Because not enough Michael equals not enough panache. (2) There is a whole sub-plot in this film which involves Martin's new and pregnant 'personal assistants' trying to help him from America. Now personally speaking, I really did warm up to this story strand, and I would have liked for it to have been given more scope within the bigger picture, instead of it being used as a footnote and tidy tail-end. (3) The villains in this piece are what I would call your run of the mill 'token bad guys'. They look mean. They groan a lot. They can't shoot for sh*t. And at the end of the day they come across as protagonist in name more than in nature. (4) The whole other sub-plot involving Martin's daughter felt like a cheep ploy to amp up the suspense for when she got captured nearing the end of the film. Regrettably this appeared too 'disposable' within the scheme of things.


Quicksand Film


Now to be completely honest with you, apart from these four slight gripes, 'Quicksand' a pretty decent film all in all. Here, check out these filmic facts for some back-story behind this project: (1) This film was a British / French / German co-production that went straight to video. (2) Although this picture was released in 2003, it was made in the South of France between December 2000 and January 2001. (3) Michael Keaton was the forth actor to play Batman. Whereas Michael Caine was the third actor to play Batman's butler, Alfred. (4) This flick was based on a book written by the author, Desmond Lowden, who also wrote the novel and screenplay for 'Bellman and True'. (5) Judith Godrèche is French by birth, and broke into show business when she became a teenage model for a firm of Japanese chocolate makers. (6) Director, John Mackenzie, directed Michael Caine's old pal, Bob Hoskins, in the British Gangster film 'The Long Good Friday'. (7) Michael Keaton real name is Michael Douglas, and decided to change it because there are two other actors with the same name than his. (8) Croatian actor, Rade Serbedzija, is the neighbour of American actor, Benicio Del Toro, and is an avid musician as well. (9) Michael Caine was born on the same day as musical impresario, Quincy Jones -- 14 March 1933. (10) Michael Keaton turned down both the 'Peter Venkman' and the 'Egon Spengler' roles for the 1984 film, 'Ghostbusters'. (11) This movie has absolutely nothing to do with the Mickey Rooney and Peter Lorre 1950's action-adventure of the same name, or with the water based natural substance either.


Quicksand Screenshot


Overall 'Quicksand' is what I would call 'A pretty solid film'. Not exemplary. Not outstanding. Solid. Because the actors are good. The story is pretty easy to follow. Plus the general ambiance is something conceptually pleasing to the eye.

I just wished it could have been brought up a level though! Re-make please.

THE RATING: B