"Battle in Seattle"
Directed by Stuart Townsend.
Written by Stuart Townsend.
Starring Martin Henderson, Michelle Rodriguez, Andre 3000 and
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 9/28/08
Here's the best thing I can say about
"Battle in Seattle"--thanks to a mishap at the E Street Theater
downtown, we got to see this movie for free.
Sometimes, free is bad.
Irish actor Stuart Townsend--it's hard to
say what his biggest role was, but it's probably the role of Lestat
in "Queen of the Damned"--has mostly produced a poor acting career,
but he IS the boyfriend of actress Charlize Theron, and he milks
that all the way into a chance to direct this docudrama about the
WTO protest riots in Seattle back in 1999. An interesting take
on real events during four days in November of that year, we get a
few interlocking stories--the mayor of Seattle (Ray Liotta) and his
attempts to allow peaceful protesters to demonstrate; a conflict
subject-matter expert (Rade Serbedzija) trying to get his message
across despite the protests; the protesters themselves, led by Jay
(Martin Henderson, star of the Oscar-winning Ice Cube motorcycle
and a gang of minions set on showing the world that the WTO is
useless; and, a pregnant retail worker (Theron) and her cop husband
(Woody Harrelson), who have a wild day of their own amidst the
Initial setup was interesting, but after
that, nearly everything goes downhill. Nearly all of the
actors seem to be playing Seattle stereotypes, even those characters
that don't appear to even be from Seattle...add typical
doom-and-gloom personalities and stereotypical movie-Seattle weather
to the mix and we have quite the drab-looking production. The
last 30 minutes of this film were so boring and then suddenly so
ridiculous (and, well, sudden) that it almost looked like a movie
that had funding for exactly 100 minutes of filmmaking and then
realized that they were 97 minutes into this and had to patch
together an ending (which, of course, sucks). My friend Yac
and I were sitting there wondering when this business was going to
end...both of us were nearly killed by boredom, a nasty player in
the business of shitty movies. The cause that the protesters
are fighting for seemed so interesting when it was proposed, but the
movie does nothing to create empathy for the cause.
"Battle in Seattle" isn't complete garbage.
I liked the role played by OutKast's André 3000 as the "black, funny
guy", and the laughs he gets here are great. There is
naturally a romantic angle between Jay and a new protest recruit
played by Michelle Rodriguez, but happily, this is given minimal
screen time to not take away from the main storyline.
Seriously, this is mishandled about 90% of the time in movies that
feel they need to have the romantic angle to create a connection
between characters, but in a movie like "Battle in Seattle", this is
minimized, which I loved.
And, I got to see the damned thing for free.
Otherwise, skip this movie, even though I'm
giving it a Rental...it just isn't worth the time unless you have a
burning need to hurt yourself.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard