Catch a Fire (7/10)
by Tony Medley
Good performances by Derek
Luke and Tim Robbins highlight director Phillip Noyce’s tightly-paced
thriller based on a true story of a South African in 1980 fighting
against Afrikaner-imposed apartheid, although the timing and motive of a
movie that glorifies terrorism to achieve a political goal is suspect
considering what's going on in today’s world.
The fact that Noyce could
produce a film that I could call “tightly paced” is a surprise after his
slow and tendentious “The Quiet American” (2002).
Patrick Chamusso (Luke) is a
relatively mild-mannered African trying to get along and do a good job
as a foreman for the Secunda Oil Refinery. He’s also a coach for a local
boys’ soccer team when he is arrested by Nic Vos (Robbins), a colonel in
South Africa’s Police Security Branch, alleging that Patrick was a part
of a sabotage of the refinery. Unfortunately, Patrick was out cheating
on his beloved wife, Precious (Bonnie Henna), so can’t use his perfectly
good alibi. Things go from bad to worse and Patrick becomes a freedom
This isn’t a bad movie. I
just question the timing of a movie that justifies the use of terrorism
to achieve a political result, even if it did happen this way. Other
than that I found it entertaining.