Movie review: 'Redline'

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Eye candy for motorheads -- or 14-year-old boys, or 14-year-old motorheads -- "Redline" features hot cars, customized women, martial arts, kidnapping, female empowerment, Iraqi war vets and the always entertaining image of million-dollar autos being driven under 36-ton trucks. It is, as they would say at the dealership, loaded.

Not such a deal, though. Directed by erstwhile Hong Kong stunt coordinator Andy Cheng, "Redline" isn't exactly a car wreck, mainly because it's far less exciting and you can, in fact, look away.

Much of the effort in this Chicago Pictures production has been expended on the movie's sports cars, which include amped-up Porsches, Ford GTs, a Saleen S7, a Lamborghini and a Mercedes SLR McLaren. Very few remain intact. Likewise the people. First to go is Jason (Jesse Johnson), who has been engaged by his uncle Michael (Angus MacFadyen) to drive his Mercedes against the Lamborghini of Infamous, a shady music producer played by Eddie Griffin (who wrecked a rare Ferrari Enzo just a few weeks ago, either in a charity race or publicity stunt). Infamous has tricked Natalie (Nadia Bjorlin), a car-mechanic-cum-pop singer -- whose beloved father expired in a race some years before -- into driving for him. Tragedy ensues. Also fistfights, started or ended by Jason's Iraq-vet brother Carlo (Nathan Phillips), a hothead wearing leftover Schwarzenegger gear from "Commando," who has decided to avenge his brother's death by taking out Michael, who's as crazy as a rat in a coffee can.

There is little doubt that moviegoers among certain demographic groups will be enticed, either by the ornamental female population of "Redline," or by its overly agitated fleet of automobiles. At the same time, it's a film that makes a pretty good argument for mass transit.

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'Redline'

Running time: 1:35 minutes. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for violence, illegal and reckless behavior, sexual content, language and drug references).

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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