on May 12, 2013
Ben Kinsley has placed bombs at various locations in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He demands that four terrorists be released or else he will explode them. The DIG (Ben Cross) is given authority to what ever he has to do to handle the situation. The first 10 minutes consists of planting the bombs, followed by the cat and mouse game between Kinsley and Cross.
The movie loosely held my interest in spite of the low action level and twist I had figured out after the first 10 minutes. The main problem is that the idea that Kinsley's actions represent "the common man." Certainly his views are reflective of a large portion of the population, but for me, I prefer the statement, "It is not about who they are, but it is about who we are." This film makes me cringe to think about who we are.
The message of this film should have appeal to those typically associated with right wing views. Might make for a rental for those who want to watch an "action/thriller" that is more of a drama.
Parental Guide: 1 f-bomb. No sex or nudity.
on June 10, 2015
A man set on revenge in a major city and explosives at hand in five different locations with just a button to push. Very interesting throughout not boring full on amusement all the way to the end. Kingsley is the bad guy if you didn't know I thought I dob him in. Fantastic storyline making everybody to think, full on suspense and action to a tee but not overdone. His reason is he wants four dangerous men released from prison and put on a plane to freedom, now that's it no more hints as to spoil it for you so get running pick up the movie but don't forget the popcorn, race back sit in your favourite chair with feet up and relax, waiting for curtain to go up. For a marvellous night in with this fabulous movie you won't be disappointed so lets get cracking. I rated this an A grade plus for sheer delight in a grand show and the cast did a marvellous job with their roles. Enjoy!
For the record, there is no reason that the thriller "A Common Man" could not have made an absolutely terrific movie. It is a remake of the taut, disturbing, and emotionally involving "A Wednesday" from India. So before I go any further, I might direct you to spend your money on purchasing that DVD if the synopsis of this movie sounds intriguing. Where that film soared as a stinging contemplation of terrorism in the modern world AND as a tour-de-force face off of two great actors, "A Common Man" takes the same plot and makes it listless and amateurish. Boasting the name talents of Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross, I seriously could not have imagined a film project that felt more bargain basement in quality. I don't give out too many one star reviews, but the inept filmmaking inherent in this production absolutely ruined a great story. As you can see, I feel very strongly about this one!
The movie begins with promise. Set in Sri Lanka, the story opens as Kingsley travels around town leaving suspicious bags (we'll soon learn that they are bombs) in various public locales like a shopping mall and a train. The last one, he even takes into a police station. He then places a call to the officer in charge (Cross) and warns him of the explosives. After helping them deactivate the bomb in their own office, Kingsley is taken very seriously as he warns of the other devices about town. His demands are simple. Release several prominent terrorists from prison and he'll reward them with the locations they need to save countless lives. He is also using the local media to put pressure on the police. Why is he doing these things? Will his demands be met? What is the motivation? I'm telling you, it's a great story. Everything else, though, is painfully inept.
The dubbing is the first thing you'll notice. It's a mess and it's distracting, nothing syncs with the soundtrack. If most of the actors were speaking another language, I'd have preferred subtitles. But even Cross and Kingsley sound dubbed most of the time. The actors are terrible as well, making broad expressive facial gestures as if they were playing to the back row of a theater. The young reporter, in particular, is so unbelievable. I could list dozens of nonsensical plot points, but I'll limit it to one as an example. They actually track Kingsley's location down. He's on the rooftop of a building and he hides when the helicopter flies over. Oh well, he's not there! That's the extent of expertise and commitment that the police force are represented with. There are so many groan-worthy moments, anything good about the tale can and will be easily overlooked. And what should have been a stunning cat-and-mouse exercise between Cross and Kingsley comes across as two bored actors phoning it in for a paycheck. Please, please, please, check out "A Wednesday" instead of this epic failure. KGHarris, 5/13.
This Blu-ray (and DVD) promotes the names of two stars on the front cover. There is Academy Award Winner Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross (who hasn't really done much since "Chariots of Fire". But if you look at the rest of the cast and names of the production crew you probably won't recognize anyone else. That's because - even though it is being distributed by Anchor Bay (which does some really nice releases), it is a production of Asia Digital Entertainment; and was obviously not aimed for the US market.
Yes, it's about a terrorist who plans to set off five bombs in a city but that city is in Sri Lanka, where the film was produced. And the film is obviously dubbed - and poorly, since the actors lips are still moving after they speak, and there are no accents for the Sri Lankan actors.
I tried to watch this 87 minute film but gave up after 20 minutes because of the poor dubbing. Obviously both Kingsley and Cross were offered some quick money to make this film. Don't go looking for great acting here.
There are no bonus features here except for a few trailers of other action films being distributed by Anchor Bay.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.
on October 1, 2013
It's about time someone laid out the common mans views about the stupid gummits that supposedly are running our countries or nations and the lousy job they are collectively doing while attempting to do so.
All they do is cause us more problems with their stupid sophistries they utilize while doing nothing more other than protecting their personal and corporate interests instead of the common persons interests which is what it's supposed to be all about isn't it?.
on May 31, 2013
Maybe it's just me but I truly hate seeing great movie stars forced to play roles that are so far beneath them it makes your teeth grind just seeing them try to make something of that role. Then again perhaps I should be upset with that actor for taking on the role. Suffice to say that Ben Kingsley, yes the man who played Gandhi and recently the Mandarin, offers a truly walk through performance in A COMMON MAN.
The movie has Kingsley placing bombs throughout Sri Lanka in several public locations. He then informs a new reporter to be at the site of the first bomb to go off. Before igniting that bomb he contacts the local DIG (Ben Cross, another actor deserving of better parts) and tells him that the bombs have been planted and that he wants to talk to someone with more authority. In order to give him time and to show he is willing to work with them he lets them know the location of the first bomb.
Phone calls are made and everyone in charge of Sri Lanka is apparently on vacation leaving only Cross to handle the situation. Then again perhaps this is just a way of passing the buck for someone to take a fall should things go bad. In any event it leaves Cross to deal with Kingsley and they begin a cat and mouse game of Cross trying to find him while answering his demands. The demands are to release 4 prisoners currently held because of their terrorist activity. If you don't see what's coming then you haven't seen many films.
The plotline here is thin at best and easily guessed from start to finish. The set up is tedious and takes far too long to get where it's going. The photography is incredibly weak and seems more like a movie not only shot in Sri Lanka but done so with cameras that were left there after the Second World War
Kingsley and Cross do their best to elevate this film but have no luck accomplishing that task. The only good part of the film is the secondary twist ending that might make it worth watching. But then again why waste the time?
on September 9, 2013
If you were expecting Sexy Beast turn around, don't spend your money, and go home. This resembles a made-for-TV movie and Ben Kingsley looks like a man under deep hypnosis who doesn't realize he's been hired to act in a movie. The first twenty minutes are so stultifyingly boring that you wonder whether you're missing something. All the scenes show Ben Kingsley's highly polished bald head, elfin ears, goatee and the skinniest arms I've ever seen. This must be some revenge for Gandhi as it takes place, I think, in the same locale. Don't even rent it or take it out of the library.
on August 6, 2013
Alright so this film gets a LOT of flak for being bad. Bad film making. Poorly acted. Poor ADR dubbing/editing. A weak script. Low budget. So be it. I'll give it that. Ben Kingsley is an incredibly underrated actor and his performance alone here makes this film worth watching, particularly because of the wasted potential of his villainous character in Iron Man 3 (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) as The Mandarin. I won't spoil what went wrong in that film for those who haven't seen it, suffice to say that if director Shane Black had taken his character seriously, Kingsley's performance in A Common Man would have delivered a diabolically sinister Mandarin the fans were all expecting to see.
Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley delivers an uncompromising performance as "The Man" a terrorist who plants five bombs around the city of Columbo, Sri Lanka demanding the release of political prisoners from the D.I.G. (Mister DIG) played by Ben Cross, another underrated British performer, in a suspenseful game of cat and mouse. Unfortunately the usually dependable Ben Cross' performance is hampered by bad dubbing and very melodramatic acting but Kinglsey shines in a role reminiscent of his character of hitman Don Logan in Sexy Beast [HD].
As others have pointed out, there are indeed some audio sync issues as it appears the whole film was ADR'd and lip sync is annoyingly off a little at times (about a frame or two). So it's not the best technically produced film and the acting by the supporting Hindi cast is almost laughably bad at times, but if you want to see Kingsley playing the real Mandarin I suggest you check it out for his performance alone for a glimpse of what could and should have been in Iron Man 3.
on May 21, 2013
This review does contain a few spoilers. I also have addressed the audio issues in the last paragraph. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of A Common Man to review. Here's what I thought:
A Common Man stars Ben Kingsley as a regular citizen of Sri Lanka who has a plan that he wants to carry out; however, the plan isn't quite revealed until the end of the movie. This movie is definitely your classic "negotiation" movie where, if demands aren't met, things go boom.
At the beginning of the movie, we see Kingsley, known as The Man, drop off five bags full of C-4 explosives in different areas of the big city of Colombo. After dropping off the bags, he calls the special task force and speaks to Mr. Dig (Ben Cross) to notify them that bombs were set to explode unless they met his demands. The Man also calls a news reporter to tell her what is going on so she could cover the story, which is basically to his advantage so he can monitor what is going on while watching television.
The Man wants the simultaneous release of four of the most dangerous international terrorists from government prisons. Once they release the terrorists, The Man will tell authorities where the other bombs are located. Eventually, they decide to release the terrorists and take them to the airport. While this is going on, the authorities hire a hacker to try to track The Man as they can't because he uses a different SIM card with each phone call he makes. They also get an idea of what he looks like from a composite sketch given by a policeman who had interacted with The Man earlier in the day.
At the airport, the four terrorists are to get on a small plane that was already there and, once in the air, answer the mobile phone as The Man will be calling them. Three of the terrorists make it onto the plane while the fourth is held back by one of the authorities because he does not believe The Man will reveal the location of the other bombs. When the three terrorists take off, a mobile phone rings and, as they push the "talk" button, the plane explodes in mid-air, killing all of them. It turns out The Man is trying to kill the four terrorists, which he refers to as cockroaches.
Since there was one terrorist still alive, The Man demanded the authorities to kill him, or the bombs he planted will go off. We find out at this point, The Man, is really acting as a sort of vigilante for the citizens of Sri Lanka and are killing the terrorists who had taken many lives. The fourth terrorist at the airport tries to run away and two of the men that were holding him shoot him dead. The Man calls the reporter back and tells her the location of the bombs and he tells her that they will not detonate.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dig still wants to capture The Man; however, the people working with him do not want to and give up their search and efforts. Mr. Dig then goes to find The Man by himself and actually does find him. His intentions were to arrest him, but, after seeing and talking with him a bit, he decides to let him go and "the common man" wins at the end of the day.
Overall, A Common Man is a pretty good movie. I was really surprised at the storyline as I thought The Man would have actually been a terrorist as well and wanted to work with the other four terrorists, but it turns out he was carrying out justice for his country. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and, the movie isn't really that long anyway.
The only bad thing I can say about this film, or this Blu-ray rather, is that the audio was a little out of sync at times and, at times, it was also hard to hear some of the dialogue between the characters. For this reason, the movie loses a star in my overall rating. Finally, this Blu-ray has no special features. So, with all this being said, I give this film an overall rating of 4/5 stars.
Overall rating: 4/5 Stars
on September 17, 2013
"A Common Man" (2013) is not just a bad film. It is a bad film that could have been infinitely better with someone who knows how to direct a thriller. The film has a good story and two reliable veteran players, as well as an interesting location and an immediate subject matter. What the film doesn't have is a director who knows the basics for a fine thriller; that is, building up tension, something you never get to see in "A Common Man."
Set in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the story follows a mysterious man (Ben Kingsley), who calls a DIG (Deputy Inspector General of Police, played by Ben Cross), and demands the release of four prisoners, threatening to detonate the explosives he has placed in the city.
The premise of "A Common Man" itself is not very original, but is still serviceable. The idea of the over-the-phone relationship between the criminal and the officer (used effectively in a Joseph Sargent thriller "The Taking of Pelham 123") is also pretty nice. But the amateurish direction kills everything good in the film. The banal and unimaginative movie just feels like a textbook about how not to make a great thriller.
Interestingly, "A Common Man" is really a remake of an Indian film called "Wednesday!" made in 2008. I haven't seen the film, but judging from the comments online (and the fact that it was remade), I believe the original is far better than this one.