Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.

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Murder at 1600

Film #172

THE PLOT

At a time of international incident, the body of a young female staffer is found in a White House wash room.

Year 1, Day 171

BEFORE: The first of two scheduled films for today is Murder at 1600 which is a reference to the White House, the address of which is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This film received poor reviews and holds a 35% on the Tomatometer but I’m going to give it a chance.

AFTER: Murder at 1600 makes me think of a poorly written and executed episode of 24. It can be very suspenseful and puzzling at times but at others it’s just downright corny and predictable.

I’ll start off by describing the good part and that was the suspense. Like a good episode of 24 my heart started beating a little faster and found myself inching forward in my seat a bit. Murder at 1600 isn’t nearly as action-packed as many of the big blockbusters are, but there are still a handful of fight and chase scenes to pique your interest. And the scenes themselves are just your run-of-the-mill guns and fistfights; nothing to special. You won’t see any fancy Jason Bourne moves or extravagant James Bond set pieces. But even so, it’s still entertaining to watch.

For the rest of the film, as in the dialogue, the acting, etc. it falls into the so-bad-it’s-good category. A great example of this is an early scene in which the Secret Service is searching the White House to make sure everything is secure after the murder took place. Normally when a murder has just taken place, things are very morose and dramatic. In Murder at 1600 however it’s a bit comedic because the Secret Service (well the actors who play them anyway) do not follow conventional protocols for securing a location as seen in many other films and TV shows like the aforementioned 24. They barge into rooms without coordination, are not very cautious, take people’s word that they are indeed supposed to be there working (i.e. the janitor polishing the table), and then to top it all off say, “Sector 6 is secure” in the most forced way possible, it’s like they were trying to make a joke about it.

Murder at 1600 is an entertaining film, but for many of the wrong reasons. If I were basing my film off of what the film is billed as (a crime thriller) then I would say don’t watch it. The story has some twists but none that you don’t see coming and the acting does not fit the serious atmosphere of a thriller. But if I’m basing my opinion off of how the film came across to me the viewer (a light-hearted drama), I would say Murder at 1600 could be an enjoyable film to watch. The interactions between characters provide some humor and the fight scenes some decent action fitting of an average movie.

RATING: 3 out of 5