Urgency has only a smattering of poorly staged violence. There's no nudity. The story has plot holes so powerful not even light can escape from them. And the direction resembles nothing so much as the segues between segments on an MTV reality show. Pretty much all this thing is good for is to watch Jeffrey Combs and Brian Austin Green demonstrate the difference between a legitimate actor and a guy who happens to be in show business. Tony West (Brian Austin Green) is an executive at a pharmaceutical company who just so happens to have the facial hair and tattoos of the semi-employed Hollywood douche. Attention all casting directors for low-budget films based in Southern California. People in corporate America, especially young executives on the go, do not walk around sporting permanent 5 o'clock shadow and scraggly ass soul patches. They also tend not to be into the whole tattoo thing. So, if you're going to cast someone like Green in this kind of role, at least make him shave and put some body make up on. On the day his company is being bought out for a buttload of money, Tony's wife (Lucianna Carro) gets kidnapped and he has to come up with $50,000 to get her back. He turns to his secretary Janet (Chira E. Cassel), his boss Edward (John C. Colton) and his divorced and unemployed neighbor Sumner (Jeffrey Combs) for help, which mainly involves talking to them over the phone or one of Sumner's converted baby monitor walkie-talkies. I sure hope they got some product placement money for those baby monitors because it's one of the stupidest props I've ever seen. As the buyout meeting drags on, Tony talks a lot on the phone. Gradually, and in so explicit a manner that even a slow witted dog could follow along, dueling schemes surrounding the buyout are uncovered and Tony has to save the day. Movies like Urgency always perplex me. I don't understand how anyone involved thought they were making a good piece of entertainment. You've got a script that would be best put to use swatting flies and the sort of director who thinks it's "cool" to have words appear on screen as people say them. Your star is the guy whose biggest claim to fame in the last decade is how astonished people are to find out he's married to Megan Fox. Jeffrey Combs is straight up great, but he's done so much low budget, sucky genre work that he's almost the unofficial mascot for the SyFy channel. Those are not the elements of a film that's going to make into theaters or make you any money at all. When that's what you've got to work with, how do you not cast some struggling, young actresses and have them disrobe in as gratuitous a manner as possible? There's no reason Urgency couldn't have started off with a decent sex scene and one or two more could have been jammed in later on. Even if you don't have the money to pull off violence on screen that looks less than laughable, naked never costs that much. Granted, if all bad, low budget flicks had it, unclothed females might theoretically cease to be an enticement to rent or buy, but I think that woefully underestimates the male appetite for fresh flesh. And let me make a few specific criticisms, just so it's clear that this thing is very lame. It turns out the kidnapping of Tony's wife is nothing but a ploy to get him out of his house. It is repeatedly emphasized that the whole and only point of it was to get Tony out of his house. But when Tony is out of his house, nothing happens. There are no people in his house. There are no events taking place there. There's no reason for anyone to be in there. It's like they got to that point of filming and somebody on the crew asked "Uh, why did they bother with the whole kidnapping nonsense?" and they just came up with an illogical rationale on the spot and couldn't afford to go back and shoot any additional scenes to back it up. And then there's the scene where Tony's kidnapped wife is trying to free herself and kicks out some glass, with the shards falling on her bed and her using one to cut her bonds. Well, at no point do we ever see any glass anywhere around her. Even when she kicks it out, we just see her feet darting off camera and hear a crash. Then, after all the glass bits fall on the bed but before Tony's wife frees herself, there's a scene where one of the kidnappers looks right at her and doesn't seen any broken glass anywhere. And another major part of the plot is how Tony listens to the answering machine tape of the kidnappers saying they're got his wife and gleaning a clue from a background sound. Well, maybe it was my speakers or my ears, but I couldn't hear any damn sound at all. And you know how a story will be about one thing on the surface but the author will, consciously or not, give it a completely unconnected subtext? You know, you'll write a bank robbery script but what it's really about is how much you hate your ex-wife? Well, Urgency isn't about corporate espionage. It's about living in the cell phone age and how bleepin' aggravating it is to be at the mercy of whenever the person at the other end of the line decides to hang up or put you on hold. Unless you're a big Jeffrey Combs fan, there's no need at all to see this movie, urgent or otherwise.
Tony is in a race against time to save his kidnapped wife before she is murdered but as he unravels the mystery behind her abduction he discovers they are after more than money.
August 26, 2020