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A Common Man

A Common Man

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

“The Man” (played by Ben Kingsley) has planted 5 bombs around Colombo where a lot of damage can be done and people can be hurt. Once the bombs have been placed, “The Man” makes a call to Police Chief Morris Da Silva (played by Ben Cross) with only one demand, release 4 known terrorist or he will set off the bombs. Not believing that Police Chief Morris Da Silva will go along with his demands, “The Man” also informs the news so that he can keep track of what's going on. With the city under his control, the police has to find him and the bombs before he does anything.

In this movie there's not much acting to be one, at least no normal style acting. Instead this movie centers around the character that Ben Kingsley plays as he first walks around planting bombs to him sitting on top of a rood talking on a phone. Any real interaction he has is with people that are background extras that don't do anything to progress the plot. As far as his acting goes for looking like a terrorist talking on a cell phone as he makes demands to the police, well, that's actually done well. It's a tough role to make the character seem interesting with only have a laptop, a small tv, and the cell phone to communicate with but Kingsley does well. Ben Cross gives an alright performance as the Police Chief but at times he gives a little too much into trying to seem tough. These two Ben's have a good back and forth style with each other as the game is being played out but they have to depend on themselves to make their characters real.

A Common Man is both non original and somewhat original when it comes to a story. What's not original is that this movie takes a guy who has put bombs around the city to hold it hostage while trying to get his demands made. It's also has a used method of the antagonist (Kingsley) going up against the cops in a game of do what I say or I'll blow up things while the police hunt him down. Along with that Ben Kingsley's character stays alone while talking to Ben Cross's character as he makes the demands and talking to the police, again nothing too original. What is original and what I can't give away, is the reason why “The Man” is doing what he is doing. Throughout the whole movie I thought it was one thing and then there was a twist, one that I liked and one that gives this movie a little extra in the like department.

Being that this is a movie where the main character is a terrorist that has placed bombs around the city, the tone is a dark tension. Throughout the whole movie I kept waiting for the bombs to explode, especially with the way the movie starts by showing other bombings. “The Man” is made to be the bad guy and because I was made to keep expecting something to happen I didn't see any real happy ending for this story. This movie is one that says the world is bleak, bad things happen, and this is the kind of stuff we have to deal with now, so yeah, dark.

There's some plot holes in this story, one being what is the main reason why “The Man” is doing what he is doing. It's told, in a small way that only is enough to say that we have given him a reason, but it don't seem like it's enough to make someone do what “The Man” has done. The main character is not going around beating up people, he didn't threaten just one person, he planted 5 bombs around the city in highly populated places, one being a train that not only can cause a lot of deaths with the people riding it but who knows how many people can be hurt or killed by having a train go off the tracks, which means he has to have a very strong reason as to why he is doing what he does. I don't get that with the reason given in this movie, it's a bit too small of a trigger for such a drastic action.

A Common Man is a slow moving movie, one that I would have liked to have had be a little quicker. It takes too long to get to the point of the story but by this point I was just waiting for the movie to have it's ending. There's no real action in this movie to give the story some adrenaline flow, even when there is one moment that seems like something is going to happen, nothing does causing the story to go right back to being a phone conversation. Even though it's only 86 minutes long it felt more like 2 hours. The story trudges along at a slow pace, especially with the beginning of the movie having nearly no dialog at all. Ben Kingsley pulls the movie but it needed more to happen to make it stay interesting but it don't.

The picture quality of the Blu Ray was decent, nothing too great when it comes to Blu Rays, but it does look good. Small details are clearly seen as the camera gets close up shots of Ben Kingsley while also staying clear with wide shots. It's a typical Blu Ray with nice colors, especially with the scenes of Ben Kingsley sitting on the roof top. However, what destroys this Blu Ray and hurts the movie to the point of me being annoyed with it is the audio. I haven't had a movie, Blu Ray or DVD, have such a horrible audio level before. Most of the dialog I couldn't hear, and when I say most I mean like 98% of it I couldn't hear or understand. I had to continuously rewind, multiple times for the same scene, to try to hear what the characters were saying to each other. After doing this until the midway point in the movie, I stopped trying to hear what was being said and just went with it what I could hear with my volume level on my TV set turned up to 35, yes 35. Making it worse is that when I went to turn on the subtitles so I could read what was being said, there were none. Why no subtitles are given on this movie is beyond me but it was a stupid mistake.


Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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