ere's a Guide to Screenwriting for simple-minded
filmmakers that want to make a statement about the Evils of Corporate America,
but lacks the talent to do it in an intelligent way. One: Evil Corporate Tycoons
are always looking to screw the rest of the planet over in the quest to make
money, because as we all know only Evil People want to make money. Two: Evil
Corporations always have an army of Faceless Goons that wear cheap suits and
dark sunglasses, because as we all know Evil Corporate types don't hesitate to
murder anyone who gets in the way of their Evil Money-Making Ways.
And last but not least: All Evil Corporate Tycoons in Evil
Corporations leave around incriminating evidence on their laptop computer in
their office, since it'll be a lot easier for our Hero to sneak in and
discover the foul plan. And oh, let's not forget, if the Evil Tycoon does manage
to be smart (*snicker*) and leave his computer turned on, then at the very least
he'll have it in screensaver mode and you'll need a password. But don't worry,
being that the Evil Tycoon is Evil and hence, Dumber than our Hero, the password
will be easy to figure out. Anyway, the password is probably "money"
or something Evil like that.
Our movie opens with 3 teen environmentalists breaking into
the Evil Corporation's office, where the Evil Corporate Tycoon has left his Evil
Plans in his laptop computer in his office, and while the computer isn't turned
off, it is on screensaver mode. But fortunately the Evil Tycoon doesn't quite
have the Evilness to password protect his computer filled with
incriminating evidence. After the 3 kids (one of whom can't seem to stop crying)
discover the Evil Plans, they are found out and killed. Enter intrepid reporter
Nash (Dylan Walsh), who is assigned by the L.A. Times (although in one scene
someone mentions that he's from "The Examiner" (?)) to investigate the
Although it must be said that Nash never seems to do much
writing, but rather spends most of his time breaking into places and getting
into situations that puts his life at risk. It's a good thing he wears a
bulletproof vest as a matter of course. Also, the movie's Evil Corporation has
the worst security known to man. After 3 white kids from the suburbs easily
break into their headquarters, Nash later breaks into their main facility in
Mexico. You would think that since they're so Evil, they'd at least hire
As the conspiracy slowly unravels, Nash must survive about,
oh, a dozen assassination attempts by way of men in cheap suits and dark
sunglasses. At last, we learn that the Evil Corporation is causing earthquakes
in their quest to invent a new power source. Alison Eastwood plays the
improbably named Gabriella St. John, who is one of the research scientists
unwittingly aiding the conspirators. The movie's most entertaining segment is
watching poor Eastwood (daughter of Clint) trying to recite the movie's pseudo
science in one breath. The poor woman had to spit out about 2 pages worth of
exposition with a straight face.
As our lead, Dylan Walsh (whose name sounds familiar, but
whose face isn't) belongs as a background player. Saying that Walsh lacks screen
presence is an understatement. He is literally dying onscreen. It doesn't
help that the screenplay gives him some of the most groan-inducing
"witty" banter ever put to paper. Alison Eastwood seems befuddled by
her appearance in this movie, and who can blame her. Tobin Bell ("Black
Mask 2"), known mostly for villainous roles, continues the streak.
There isn't much about "Power Play" to recommend.
Its screenplay is tripe and devoid of intelligence and the fact that the
filmmakers are so deadly serious only makes the final product all the more
laughable. The one big lesson I learned from "Power Play" is this:
when you see strange men in cheap suits wearing sunglasses at night, run!